Bicycle Road Safety
Those that live in Brunswick East are known for having a higher level of understanding to sustainability and deeper care for the environment. As a by-product of that, there are a lot of those who choose to cycle. We thank you for that.
Firstly Moreland Council has a great PDF that highlights all bike paths in our area: You can find this here. It’s important to know the best route to your destination as it will allow you to focus on your surroundings and not second guess where you’re going.
Cycling to work
It’s well known that those who cycle to work are twice as happy than those who don’t.
So why aren’t more people cycling to work? Maybe, it’s because they don’t know how easy and quick it is. Sure in winter it can get a little cooler (and wet), but once you’re riding, the heart gets pumping and you heat up pretty quickly.
Those damn car doors are the cause of a lot of cycling accidents, so it’s important to understand what can happen and what to do if something does happen. Now, you can’t help it if someone opens a car door in front of you, but, there are ways you can try and avoid or minimise that type of crash from occurring.
4 Ways to Ride with Predictability
Car drivers have likely never ridden a bike on a major road and may not understand the issues that face cyclists. We cannot assume they have seen the bike rider or know what your next moves are. Here are some tips to help be seen and to take more care on the roads.
Ride with consistency
Don’t switch lanes or ride in a wild style. We would suggest you ride in a straight line and make sure you can be seen by all car drivers.
Ride away from the car door zone
Note that typically a fully extended car door is 1.5m wide, so you will need to give some width from you and car doors.
No room for car door safety
Sometimes there is no room to give that 1.5m car door zone width. In these circumstances, we advise reducing your speed so you can stop in time should a door open up.
Mentioned above, but worth noting again. Don’t weave in and out of traffic and parked cars. Being unpredictable can lead to crashes.
Car Drivers – Anticipating Their Actions
If only we could read peoples minds this would be a lot easier. Alas, this isn’t possible, so we need to ride with caution and care to make sure we put ourselves in the best positions. Here are some tips to consider when trying to guess what a driver is doing.
Know your road rules and understand what cars have to do in certain situations. Cyclists also need to obey car road rules. Both are sharing the same road, so knowing what a car driver is going to do, will help you to know what is coming up.
Brake lights – look at the immediate brake lights in front of you and also look ahead to see what is occurring ahead of you. Being a few steps ahead can prevent a lot of accidents.
Parked cars – an interior light going on is an indication that a car door is about to open. Recognise this and prepare for the fact that they may not have seen you coming.
Parked cars – if you can see people in the car, be alert and try and give the car some room for the door to open or slow your speed to allow you to stop in quickly.
Where possible avoid narrow roads and fast-moving traffic – use one of Moreland’s bike routes.
Assume Nobody Has Seen You
The reality is that car drivers or passengers in cars have most likely not seen you. The best thing you can do is assume they have not seen you and ride with caution and care.
If the weather isn’t great, ride with care as visibility for both you and the car driver is low.
Where possible, forget fashion rules and wear bright clothes (high vis) so all drivers can see you.
When riding at night or early in the morning, it’s a must that you have lights that are visible from up to 200 meters away. If you can get lights that flash even better.
Assume the car driver has not seen you, unless you get eye contact and even then, ride with care.
Ring your bell if someone hasn’t seen you. Whilst bike bells are not that loud, they can help with those opening car doors.
Car Door Crashes
If you’re ever confronted by a car door here are some tips to remember.
Hit the brakes, always best to use the rear brake (left handle) before the front brake, so save you going straight over the handlebars.
Pick your line and stick to that.
In most instances, it’s better to ride into the car door. Brace yourself, as you don’t want to swerve into the next lane where cars might be.
Any Other Cycling Crash
Whilst car doors cause a lot of cycling accidents, there are other forms of crashes you can have. Here are some tips to remember if those instances occur.
Stay as calm as you can.
Report the crash to the Police.
Call the ambulance if assistance is required.
Record all details. If you can take photos of the accident. Get all names, drivers license, registration details. If there are witnesses, you’ll need to grab their details (name, contact number).
We’re big advocates for cycling but it’s important to understand the dangers that come with it and best equip yourself on the roads. Confidence is needed when riding on major roads. Brunswick East is a fantastic suburb to explore on a bike, our EBV development is located only 6km from the CBD and with 960 bicycle spaces available we know plenty of our residents will be making the bike their primary mode of transportation. For more information on East Brunswick Village please register on our website.