Road accident danger increases as cyclists return to work

TAC and road accident injury compensation Law Firm, Arnold Thomas & Becker urge cycling commuters to take caution as they return to work.

As many Melbournian workers return to work following two years of pandemic lock downs working from home followed by recent Christmas holidays there’s an increased capacity for accidents and injuries to occur.

According to TAC there was a 27% increase in cycling fatalities post pandemic from 2019 to 2020. This can be attributed to a decline in public transport usage and increase in cycling and driving.

A recent Australian Bureau of Statistics study found a decline in public transport usage in Melbourne. Of the sample who regularly used public transport pre pandemic, around 18% reported they had not used public transport since March 2020. However, public transport services are now running to a normal timetable, with some restrictions applying.

Traffic on Melbourne’s main arterials is increasing as many opt to travel in their cars to avoid virus contamination. Some major Melbourne roads have seen a 20% congestion surge post pandemic. The worst roads for congestion are; Queens Rd, Kings St, Kings Way, Lonsdale St, Olympic Boulevard, Victoria St, Elizabeth St, Alexandra Ave, Collins St and Flinders St.

Not surprisingly, due to this congestion, and other Melbourne based obstacles such as trams and hook turns most cycle accidents and subsequent injuries and fatalities occur in the CBD.

Tragically, the most common time for a cycling fatality to occur is Wednesday between 8 am and 10 am. Middle aged males are three times as more likely to be killed whilst cycling than their female counterparts.
Arnold Thomas & Becker Partner and road accident compensation expert, Allanah Goodwin says;

“Cyclists are among the most vulnerable of our commuters. Especially those who ride to work in the city. We see the devastating impacts of those who have been injured from a cycling accident or have lost their lives. Those who survive can carry acute permanent injuries such as; head injuries, facial, dental and rib fractures, ruptured spleens, pancreatic trauma, bowel contusion, hernias or renal contusions. They’re unable to work, or often walk or function as they were able to before the accident. Our condolences always extend to those grieving families left behind by those cyclists who have lost their lives.”

If you chose to cycle to work here’s five tips to keep you safe.

  1. Remain confident – keep consistent and do not change lanes abruptly.
  2. Wear highly visible protective gear and accessories, especially during dusk and dawn.
  3. Practised safely, hook turns are ok when a right hand turn leaves you exposed at an intersection.
  4. Use hand signals to communicate your intent to traffic and constantly look over your shoulder for cars.
  5. Do not ride too close to the gutter or weave in and out of empty car spots to avoid cars. Keep a straight line and remain predictable or you may get squeezed out of your lane.

Arnold Thomas & Becker Partner, Allanah Goodwin says;

‘It’s our mission to assist in rehabilitating cyclist crash victims and their families by ensuring their compensation payout can help provide the support they need.’