This morning at the farmers market at Wayville, my neighbour and I had a chat about why Adelaide drivers are particularly bad compared to others in Australia. Studies have shown Adelaide has the most impatient drivers in the country, leading to road rage and accidents.
Well we concluded that Adelaide does not have the congestion Sydney, Melb, Bris and Perth do. Therefore drivers in these city are forced to be more patient. Melb drivers also regularly deal with trams and pedestrians in the CBD. And all of the above cities have freeways, enabling longer commutes to be done hassle free.
Adelaide drivers on the other hand, are used to getting from point A to point B in 10-15 minutes. Anything that stops them doing this or getting in their way/slowing them down seems to infuriate them. And unfortunately due to either other cyclists breaking road rules or the stigma attached to cyclists, they almost seem to relish an opportunity where they can abuse us for what they think is doing the wrong thing.
This post has been prompted by girlfriend being abused by pedestrians after they walked in front of her and she told them they should look before walking out into traffic, I was abused for riding two abreast on a two lane road, two cars almost hit me yesterday because I was doing 40kph in a 60 zone, etc etc etc and a discussion at dinner where only 2 out of 10 at a dinner table knew riding abreast within 1.5m was legal.
As I've said before, there can be no expectation without education.
What about public transport, shopping, distance from Europe, quality of theatre, opera and ballet ?
First up, I travel interstate for work most weeks, and I totally agree with you that Adelaide drivers as a whole are the rudest, most ignorant bunch in the country (although I haven't driven in Darwin, so I guess they might be worse).
You could also add the fact that virtually all suburban roads here are reasonably wide, with clearly labelled lanes and a good road surface, meaning that for a car driver they are pretty well idiot proof. This struck me after a ride through the B roads in the west country of the UK last year, where many of the roads are poorly surfaced, one lane in many places and generally unmarked. Although the weekend traffic was heavy, drivers were polite and careful because if they weren't they'd have ended up in a head on or in a ditch.
I could also share my theory on Adelaide drivers' mentality as a reflection of the general mentality of many native Adelaideans, but that tends to end up in flames and fistfights, so I'll keep that opinion to myself ;)
I have been lucky enough to drive in many places all over the world. I agree that by far Adelaide drivers are the most arrogant and impatient out of all of them.
When we allow parents to supply the majority of training to our young drivers I do not see this practice changing any time soon. While both of my children were learning to drive I could emphasize the view from a cyclist’s point of view and they are accustomed to looking out for us. As the majority of parents do not cycle, they place less emphasis on looking for cyclists and giving them room.
Being from Perth I can not believe Adelaide drivers don't know how to merge in traffic... Lucky I have a big 4wd and can push my way through... Is it really too hard to let other drivers in and keep the traffic flowing?
Sorry Andrew. I hope all of things change and that parking decreases, journeys take much longer, roads get narrower, roads are taken away and replaced with more sustainable modes of transport.
I drove a car four weeks ago and when I had to fill up and see that petrol was $1.39 I was glad my main mode of transport is a bike because I find buying petrol is ridiculous.
I'm fully in favour of the 2 abreast rule. It's a safety issue, increasing visibility of riders to cars both behind and coming out of side streets. Most lanes aren't wide enough for a car to safely (and hence legally) pass within the same lane, so driver should be changing lanes to pass anyway. Riding 2 abreast simply reinforces that.
When riding solo I try to ride about a metre from the edge of the bitchumin for the same reasons. If you're not riding where drivers are looking, you're effectively invisible to them.
"If you're not riding where drivers are looking, you're effectively invisible to them".. Maybe, however even againt the gutter you're still in their eyeline. I also figure that if you're riding in an area of the road where they have no interest in being (near the gutter) you're less likely to get hit..
Riding about a metre from the edge is not my approach, unless it's a twisty hills descent where I'll take the whole lane until I want to allow the car behind to pass at a point where I'm comfortable with them passing... Each to their own though, there's more than one way to skin a cat! Interestingly I was driving along the other day and saw a cyclist riding 1-2 metres from the gutter, he also had a big bandage on his right elbow.. Not sure if the bandage and the distance from the gutter were related (or which came first)..!
In the absence of bike lanes, I also ride about 1.5m from the left edge. If a motorist is going to just miss (or just hit) you, it will happen no matter where you are on the road, and if you're in the gutter, you have nowhere to go except over. On narrow sections, move out further - if they can't pass, they can't side-swipe. Always keep an eye in the rear-view mirror, which, in my opinion, should be a compulsory item of kit for road use. (2 compulsory on motorcycles.)
Some winding hills I come down quicker on the bike than in a car, because I have (relatively) more road to play with.
Incidentally, the recommended place for motorcyclists to ride is directly over the place they would be if they were a car driver - maximum visibility here.