Cycling is often depicted as a"dangerous" activity. But is it true?
I would argue that it is motor-vehicle drivers that are dangerous, to cyclists, pedestrians, their passengers, other motorists, and themselves. Perhaps there is a case for banning their dangerous activity outright, or at least severely restricting its impact by limiting the speed and performance of their machines to a speed at which the danger posed to others is reduced to minimal levels, since it appears that drivers, as a class, cannot be trusted with self-regulation, at least in Australia.
(BTW, I do have a car, that does sometimes get used. I also hold a HR licence.)
Why is it lawful to make, import or sell a vehicle capable of 200+km/hr, when the maximum speed limit anywhere in Australia is 130?
Bring back the red flag act! Just this time, the red flag must be carried by a cyclist. You can only drive as fast as your escort...;-)
David, that is a thought. I mainly cycle although I have a registered car.
A Heavy Rigid driving licence:
anything in life is dangerous. Many sports add to the risk of life.
I guess each type of cycling has its own risk.
Commuting - cars and buses
Road cycling - cars buses and peleton
Mountain biking - rocks branches and snakes
Motor car drivers are a danger, but imho the biggest danger for bike riders is the lack of protection.
Whatever object a cyclist hits or hits a cyclist, be it car, road surface or tree there is only so much protection clothing and a helmet can give. Even mechanical failure can lead to nasty injuries.
Cycling is a more dangerous activity than lawn bowls. But not quite as dangerous as Dakar rallys apparently.
So what is the answer? banning all motorists?
Power of vehicles is a question I've never understood.
My 8 year old asked me why our speedo showed 240 the other week.
I couldn't really give a good answer to that.
If your insurance underwriter is having worries about your bike riding point out to them you don't
High Altitude Climb
Big Wave Surf
or Street Luge
Just dont let them google ' Ten most dangerous sports for kids' :)
Matt, a MUARC study using helmet cams found that drivers are responsible for the majority of vehicle-bicycle incidents. I believe that driver training and licensing should be tougher, and repeated every 10 years with licence renewal. Also more fines and demerit points to show that a driver's licence is a privilege rather than a right. I have been disgusted at times when cyclists have been killed in SA and the driver not charged or a lenient approach. Do you recall the truck driver with drugs in his system? Or the driver on suspended licence who hit and killed a cyclist?
Other headings included in my 2011 submission to the SA govt:
Improve road safety, especially for vulnerable road users like cyclists
Implement NOW the SA Road Safety Strategy 2020 – Towards Zero Together
Reduce speed limits
Legislate for high star rating of vehicles for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists
Have ANCAP publish NOW vehicle star ratings for vulnerable road users
Decrease tinting of vehicle glass / windows
Veto steel and alloy bull bars
Decrease 4WD numbers
Mandatory truck underrun panels and of the higher ECE standard
Re-examine safety of heavy vehicles / trucks and related crashes
Heather, I have owned vehicles with roo bars, because I lived in an area where they were absolutely necessary. I would then naturally, drive the same vehicle into the city. I now live in an area where, in the winter, some roads are open to 4WD ONLY !
I grew up in the country. In winter the old ute was fitted with wheel chains to negotiate muddy tracks. In roo areas one drove more slowly, and at night had lights on low beam so less likely to dazzle and confuse animals.
Too many 4WDs are never driven off the bitumen. Too many city vehicles have bull bars. It is one thing to need a 4WD -- it is another thing to drive a vehicle with high "aggressivity" when not needed.
Plastic bull bars are considered safe for vulnerable road users, but not steel or alloy.
Too many racing bikes never race, too many mountain bikes never see a mountain, too many running shoes never run etc. etc. etc.
Patrick, mothballed bikes are not as dangerous as unnecessary 4WDs used only in urban areas.
Bicycle and motor vehicle crash characteristics, Watson LM, Cameron MH, 2006, MUARC, http://www.monash.edu.au/miri/research/reports/muarc251.html
The high aggressivity of 4WD vehicles towards unprotected road users has been identified in many studies now and is believed to be a result of the geometric properties of these vehicles. Such properties include high frontal structures combined with hard contact surfaces often featuring the presence of a bull bar (Atwell and Glase, 2000). Similar features can also be found on many commercial vehicles and passenger vans, also explaining the high aggressivity of these vehicle classes.
The removal of a tax has increased sales of 4WD vehicles (which also tend to use more fuel and therefore increase air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.) Reinstate tax on 4WDs for non business purposes to discourage ownership of ‘high aggressivity’ vehicles. Considering the aggressivity of 4WDs, introduce another licence class and driver testing to advanced standards and for rough terrain. This would also discourage some unnecessary 'Toorak tractors'.
I'm with you on the licence class and driver testing. I drive a van and a 4WD, I must be one of your worst nightmares ;) The 4WD tends to spend most of it's time at the moment carrying me and my bike to races though, so not all bad.
Patrick, at least you recognise the benefit of advanced training before driving a vehicle of 'high aggressivity'. Some people should not have a licence to drive any vehicle!
Oh yes I agree - motorists are more likely responsible for collisions between the two modes of transport.
But it is just as easy to have an accident when no cars are around.
Barr a few near misses my only serious bike accident involved a raised manhole cover on a steep downhill run, other than that all my other 'incidents' have been off road with rocks and big sticks usually the culprit.