Riding safe is all about having the right mindset. All the safety accessories in the world can only do so much if you don’t have the right perspective locked in place. In our adult cycle proficiency and maintenance courses, we try to instil this mindset, empowering cyclists to take control of their ride. In fact, we’ve been making the road safer for cyclists since 1982, not just in Adelaide, but across South Australia, by encouraging a more proactive, present mindset.
We recently shared our thoughts on safe cycling with NSW Compensation Lawyers, along with other leading bicycle experts in Australia. What we can’t emphasise enough is that when you’re sharing the road, you need to stay focussed.
Check out the article ‘Protect yourself with these cycling safety tips’, for great ideas, products and advice – all aimed to help keep you safe on the road.
Sure, it would be great if everyone behind the wheel would pay more attention to avoid cyclists, but leaving your safety in the hands of motorists isn’t a responsible move. We’ll even be the first to admit that with the rise in bicycles on the road over the past thirty years, drivers are more in-tune to road sharing now more than ever. Still cycling crashes are a very real problem and in the case of bike versus car, you’re unlikely to be the victor.
In a recent study of cycling accidents in Australia, most of the injured cyclists attributed their mindset, at least in part, to be the root of the accident – they believed that if they had been more present, that they could have prevented the crash from ever happening. Many of the cyclists involved may not have actually been at fault – sorry drivers. (Studies suggest that 78% of accidents between cyclists and motorists are the driver’s fault). Still, the cyclists knew that if they had paid more attention, then they could have prevented the crash from ever happening.
With the right mindset, they would have been in control of what was happening on the road, regardless of the actions and mistakes of the driver.
Don’t Make Assumptions
To stay in control, don’t assume drivers see you. Unless you make eye contact with someone, assume they have no idea that you are there and do everything you can to stay out of their path. The most dangerous thing that a cyclist can do is to ride on autopilot. Many riders believe that if they are just safely pedalling down a straight road that they don’t have a lot to worry about and it is only when weaving through city streets that focus is necessary.
In reality however, studies show that nearly 60 per cent of all crashes are from drivers turning right across two lanes or more . Don’t assume you’re seen, or even visible. Take basic precautions like wearing bright clothing and using flashing lights whether the sun has set or not.
Remember it’s your own safety that is the goal. Take a deep breath, frame your mindset, and enjoy the ride.
Bike SA runs free workplace safety sessions. You can book yours today.