A few months back I was involved in a low speed accident on Ryrie Street just opposite to Eastern Park Gardens. The indicent was between a car and myself riding a mountain bicycle. I was crossing a road T junction. The driver pulled out and didn’t see me in front of him.
I sustained minor gravel rash to my right forearm, hands, knees, right hip and a bruised ankle. I’m completely fine now. I was a little shaken at the time and have been somewhat slow to get back on my bike. My bike had some fixable damage to the wheels and frame.
The driver mentioned he just didn’t see me. I remember looking back from where his car was parked at the intersection. I noted the sun glare was strong and it may have been a factor to the incident.
The driver quickly stopped, helped me back on my feet, drove me to work and paid for the bike repairs. He was a bike rider himself and felt a little unease with the incident.
So, what can I learn from my incident, Firstly, cars really hurt when they hit you. Secondly, I need some better personal protective equipment when riding to make me more visible. Finally, don’t blame the driver or the rider. Instead how can the road designer and planners implement better bike safety right at the start of developments? How can Australia adapt our design ethos to places around the world that have high bicycle usage with minimum accidents?
I feel that my incident could have simple been avoided with proper bicycle junction design. For example as the driver approached the intersection. He needed to give way to me first as I had a designated bike lane. From this extra lane he may have approach the intersection more slower and cautiously. He may have thought look bike first. Once I had passed him he could then move forward and give way to the cars. Once the cars have passed he can move onto the road.
If can we can advocate more at the front end for better bike path designs. We will reduce the future risk of bicycle and car accidents. This will provide a better outcomes for the community and provide a safer cycling experience.