Bicycle Network today published its five-year crash report revealing the conditions, months, times of day and streets that see the most crashes in any given year. It’s Australia’s largest bike-riding organisation with more than 50,000 members, the majority of whom reside in Victoria.
Members reported nearly 2500 crashes between 2012 and 2016, of which almost half involved serious injury. Just over 230 of the reported crashes each year required a trip to hospital. Almost half of all crashes over the period were reported to the police, and in these cases one in four riders claimed to have a negative experience.
While these figures might sound bleak, the report points to a minor downward trend in bike crashes over the five-year period, with the chance of having a crash in a single year at less than one percent. 2012 had the highest number of crashes at just over 600; last year saw that figure drop to just over 400.
Forty per cent of reported crashes happened at intersections. Melbourne saw particularly high rates in the CBD, specifically along Elizabeth Street at intersections with Lonsdale Street and La Trobe Street.
Further north, Queensberry Street in Carlton also recorded a large number of incidents.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of crashes occurred at peak hours. Morning peak hour, between 7am and 10am saw nearly double the amount of crashes than during afternoon peak hour (4pm to 7pm). The hour before 9am proved to be the highest-risk period with almost 350 bike crashes. October was the worst month for crashes to occur on average, with just over 260 incidents, closely followed by January with just under 250 reported crashes.
The report highlighted that the highest number of crashes occurred when riders were on a road surface (just over 90 per cent), when the weather was fine (just over 80 per cent), and on flat roads (just over 70 per cent).
The study also confirmed car drivers were at fault in the majority of crashes involving motor vehicles. But Bicycle Australia argues that a national data source needs to be created to provide greater clarity regarding the fault and cause of bike crashes.
Bicycle Network believes Australia should take heed from European cities, particularly the world’s most bike-friendly city, Amsterdam, by implementing protected bike lanes that provide a physical separation between bike riders and motor vehicles – especially on busier, higher speed roads.
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