See this interesting opinion piece looking at how we can prevent accidents like this http://www.ourworldtoday.com.au/news/article/cyclists-need-not-die
I think that Australian drivers are more likely to look for cyclists when / if we get 'strict liability' legislation. Then drivers will consider cyclists something to look for and avoid, because the alternative will be fines and increased insurance costs. I know of too many vehicle-bicycle incidents that police did not bother to take action against the negligent driver. With 'strict liability' and a certain outcome, police and courts are more likely to act.
I have started an AC group of Look For Cyclists with a long term aim of using the info to advocate for improved cyclist safety. An invite to join.
A lot of it I think is what Professor Wegman described as system failure. Roads are generally set up with no cues to drivers that they may come across a cyclist. How many of us have had near misses from people pulling out from a side street on the left? Motorists (not unreasonably) drive up to them quickly, look into the distance for other cars and when they do not see any, just pull out. It is only when you are on top of them that they notice you. It is the same with being passed close by cars. Often, drivers are just not thinking because they have not even considered that a cyclist might be there.
I think we need more visual cues built into the road for drivers, such as tighter corners at roundabouts, clearly defined spaces for cyclists and cars, clear signs and separate lights for cyclists at junctions so that motorists see the cyclists leave before them and they remain in their field of vision.
While I agree road design is an issue drivers needs to smarten up their game and start looking out for all other road users not just other cars. Too many drivers approach a give way or stop sign with the attitude "I'll stop if I see another car" instead of "I'll slow down or stop and see if it is safe to proceed". That's why they don't see you because they are not looking for anything bigger than a car. Imagine the carnage if truck drivers ignored everything smaller than them. People need to treat driving a car with the respect it deserves instead of as an annoying waste of time until they get to the important place they are going to. If they can't cope with that level of responsibility they should have their licenses taken away. Driving is a responsibility not a right.
Well put Michael.
+1 to that.
Easiest way? Rider training... Roads and drivers etc aren't going to change... We need to learn to deal with the situation as it is... If some cyclists don't have the skills to ride defensively etc then training might help...
JDL, for a moment I thought you would state a solution -- rider training for all motorists! Then more drivers would look for cyclists. I have heard that in European cities where most drivers also cycle, drivers are very courteous towards cyclists.
Training for all motorists is a great idea, so are improved laws and improved roads.. The only problem is none of these things are ever likely to happen (to an extent that it'll make a real difference)... So as cyclists we need to adapt to the way it is..... which may mean training for some riders...
Little bit defeatist!
Apparently Holland was a car dominant road culture and they have turned that around much to the envy of many (all) of us here on these forums. Sure takes time and money plus education but the Dutch are an example of what can be achieved. Never say never!
In the meantime of course your suggestion that cyclists get used to and adjust to the real world conditions is most prudent.
Copenhagen in Denmark was car dominant also, but look at it now. When they redesigned the city to be more cycling and pedestrian friendly there was major opposition to it. Nowadays to change it back to a car dominant city would be unthinkable to the Danes.
I think the biggest obstacle to changing Adelaide's infrastructure to be more cycling friendly and less car oriented is a politician with the guts to do it!
I don't know about defeatist but I agree I am perhaps a bit pessimistic! Perhaps rather than me saying these improvements won't happen I should have said that, if they take say 10 years (fairly realistic) then I'm not going to spend the 10 years in the meantime riding around assuming the roads, drivers, laws are perfect.. I am going to ride around, expecting to have to take evasive action at a moment's notice, etc... I believe that I am probably experienced enough to do that myself without training, but for others, training may be beneficial......
Perhaps if Adelaide smartens up and realise we live in an extremely easy and flat city to get around and the government invests in more bikeways then we could get enough people cycling as a way to commute that we could introduce this, but that might be a way off i fear.
Think it is all about changing the mindset of drivers and cyclists, nothing is worth risking your or another's life for. I do agree with some of the statements above about signing, there should be so much more.