More than three quarters of South Australian cyclists have been victims of road rage and less than half feel safe when sharing the road with drivers, alarming new data from RAA’s 2022 Risky Rides report has revealed.
According to the report, 76 per cent of cyclists surveyed had been the subject of road rage – such as verbal abuse (63%) or rude hand gestures (60%) – and 56 per cent disagreed with the statement “most of the time, I feel safe to share the road with motorists.”
The most common negative experience reported by the almost 400 respondents was “a close pass by a vehicle” which was a shared experience by 94 per cent. And 30 per cent of respondents also said they had been knocked off their bike by a car.
RAA Senior Traffic Engineer Matthew Vertudaches said the findings were concerning.
“The main aim of RAA’s Risky Rides survey was to identify gaps in cycling infrastructure because the lack of continuous cycling infrastructure is a real concern for many riders, and South Australia has the second lowest cycling participation of any Australian state or territory,” Mr Vertudaches said.
“The survey also uncovered alarming findings about how cyclists feel when sharing the road, which paints a grim picture of the experiences of cyclists in South Australia.
“The report reveals that many drivers are letting their emotions get the better of them when sharing the road with vulnerable road users.”
“Many drivers might get frustrated if they’re slowed down by a cyclist at one point or another, but there is never an excuse to abuse or endanger other road users. Really it is just another reason to leave a few extra minutes whenever you’re driving somewhere, because traffic can be unpredictable for a whole host of reasons.
Matt also said the report strengthened RAA’s call for increased investment in cycling infrastructure in SA, “to ensure there is enough room for both cyclists and drivers wherever possible, which would help to reduce the number of close shaves being experienced by riders.”
“Ideally, we would like to see more physical separation between cyclists and motor vehicles, which provides far greater benefit than a cycle lane alone, although this can often be difficult because it requires space that we don’t always have.”
According to the report, approximately 20 per cent of RAA’s 800,000 members had cycled in the past year.
Between 2017-2021, 2310 cyclists were injured (2387) or killed (23) in a road crash in SA, and two cyclists have been killed on SA roads so far this year.
To view the full Risky Rides Report and fact sheet visit www.raa.com.au/riskyrides.