General Manager of Road Safety Michael Cornish says vulnerable road users include pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and gopher operators.
“So far this year 15 vulnerable road users have died which equates to 28% of all deaths on our roads,” Michael says.
“While this is less than last year a number of recent incidents where vulnerable road users have lost their lives has prompted us to highlight the importance of everyone being alert to the behaviour of other road users and acting safely.”
Many pedestrians are injured on our roads every year so drivers need to be alert to their presence because without the protection offered to car occupants, injuries to pedestrians can be devastating.
“Hitting a pedestrian is a common type of road incident and they are frequently very serious with 45% of fatal crashes in metropolitan Adelaide last year being due to hitting a pedestrian,” Michael says.
Motorcycling is known to be a higher risk form of transport, where one small moment of thrill-seeking or loss of concentration can cause injuries that may result in death or a lifetime of pain and disability.
“If you are a motorcycle rider you are more exposed and vulnerable in the road environment with research indicating that, per hour of travel, you are nearly 18 times more likely to be killed in a crash than vehicle occupants,” Michael says.
“All road users can help make the road environment safer by looking-out for vulnerable road users on open roads, at crossings and intersections.
“And pedestrians and other vulnerable road users can also increase their safety in the road environment by making themselves more visible, establishing eye contact with other road users and using road crossings wherever possible.
“There are many ways to reduce your risk of being a casualty, whatever your mode of transport, but accepting responsibility for your own safety on the road is vital
The Motor Accident Commission is highlighting how important it is for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to take extra care on our roads as students and teachers around the State return to school next week.
Obeying the 25km/hr speed limit around schools is essential and MAC General Manager of Road Safety, Michael Cornish, would like to remind all road users that road safety around schools is everyone’s responsibility, not just that of parents who are taking their children to school.
“Motorists need to look out for children on the roads, some of whom may be walking or cycling to school for the first time,” Michael Cornish says.
“And parents can also help to prepare their children for the journey to school by talking through the importance of being safe on the roads.”
Parents should discuss with their children how to cross the road safely without being distracted by friends and mobile phones.
And drivers need to remember that inattention is reported as the primary cause in almost 30 per cent of fatal crashes, and 45 per cent of serious injury crashes each year.
“It is essential for drivers to reduce any distractions inside their car so they can concentrate on the road and their surroundings,” Michael Cornish says.
“Switch mobile phones to ‘silent’ to avoid the temptation of being distracted while driving and please follow these important guidelines when dropping children at school.”
- Let children out of the vehicle on the kerbside;
- Never call out from the opposite side of the road, as young children have poor peripheral vision and may not see approaching vehicles when they cross;
- If waiting for a child who is travelling by bus, wait on the same side of the road as the bus stop;
- Take extra time to look for children at intersections, on median strips and on kerbs;
- Avoid parking too close to a marked school crossing;
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully particularly when reversing;
- Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours.
What is a Standard Drink?
The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) has partnered with the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) Cycling Division as part of MAC’s comprehensive cycling safety program.
“MAC has a number of cycling programs in place, and our partnership with SASI’s cycling program will provide us with the opportunity to reach more cyclists,” MAC General Manager Michael Cornish said.
“MAC will have a presence at SASI events and SASI elite cyclists – some with international profiles – will help to promote important road safety messages.
“It’s vital that road users give consideration to each other and courteously share the road so that we all get home safely.
“The SASI cycling team will role model good road safety behaviour.”
Other cycling safety MAC programs include:
- The “Be Safe Be Seen” campaign, with Olympic Gold medallist Anna Meares as ambassador. This encourages safer riding practices by promoting techniques to improve road positioning, defensive riding and visibility. Drivers are encouraged to look carefully for riders and raise awareness of cyclist vulnerability.
- A partnership with the Santos Tour Down Under. During January and the Tour Down Under, MAC takes the opportunity to deliver the ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ message.
- Workplace education. Through Bike SA, MAC delivers rider safety education sessions to workplaces in the Adelaide CBD. These are one-hour free sessions conducted providing best-practice cycling safety education for riders of any level of experience.
- Distribution of front and rear bike lights. MAC advocates the use of front and rear bicycle lights, day and night, to improve rider visibility. MAC helps encourage light uptake via the free distribution of quality lights, primarily to participants of the Bike SA workplace education sessions.
The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) has partnered with PainAdelaide to share cycling safety messages and support its work in the pain science field.
PainAdelaide, based at the University of South Australia, is recognised as a centre of excellence in pain science. Chronic pain is a significant world health issue and PainAdelaide brings together pain researchers, clinicians and stakeholders.
The MAC partnership includes support of the Ride for Pain, a public cycling challenge which aims to raise awareness of chronic pain.
MAC General Manager Road Safety Michael Cornish said the Ride for Pain provided an opportunity to share MAC’s Be Safe Be Seen cycling safety program.
“Be Safe Be Seen encourages safer riding practices by sharing techniques to improve road positioning, defensive riding and visibility,” Mr Cornish said.
“It also shares messages targeting drivers to encourage them to look carefully for riders and raise awareness of cyclist vulnerability.
“Motorists need to be vigilant and regularly check their mirrors for riders who could be travelling alongside their vehicle, and always scan for riders, particularly at intersections.
“We ask cyclists to wear light, bright and fluorescent clothing because what you wear will get you noticed.
“We also encourage cyclists to set their bike lights to flash in the day, as well as at night time. The flashing helps draw attention to your position on the road.”
The blind spot of a driver is a vulnerable position for a bike rider.
Position yourself on the road where drivers are most likely to see you. Remember that larger vehicles have larger blind spots.
Try to establish eye contact with motorists. It will let you know if they have seen you or not. Never assume you have been seen.
Ride defensively. Ride carefully when positioned next to a car as this is a vulnerable spot. The car might turn left into a side street without checking for riders. Slow down and make space so you are seen in car mirrors.
Learn to anticipate driver actions and watch for cars that are indicating or slowing down as they approach a junction.
Safe cyclists and drivers are constantly scanning the road for potential hazards.
Scanning is not just looking ahead and behind. Many crashes between bikes and cars involve a cyclist being hit from the side, so you need to scan for hazards to your left and right as well.
Ms Meares is Ambassador for the MAC Be Safe, Be Seen cycling road safety campaign.
“Anna is not only a champion of the track, she champions safe road cycling and we feel very privileged to have her as our ambassador,” General Manager Road Safety Michael Cornish said.
Ms Meares shares the following advice as part of her MAC Cycling Ambassador role:
- Set bike lights to flash in the day, as well as at night time. The flashing helps draw attention to your position on the road.
- What you wear will get you noticed. Wear light and bright clothes to help you stand out from the crowd.
- Motorists also need to be vigilant and regularly check their mirrors for riders who could be travelling alongside their vehicle, and always scan for riders at intersections.
Mr Cornish said drivers also need to play their part and be particularly careful to look for riders
whenever they are changing lanes, turning into a side street, or pulling out into traffic.
“Usually a crash occurs because the driver hasn’t seen the rider – a careful second look could
prevent a crash,” Mr Cornish said.
See Anna’s Be Safe Be Seen videos on the MAC website here:
MAC has the following tips for safer road use during wet weather:
- Drive to the conditions, and lower your speed in cases where visibility is poor or roads are slippery;
- Keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front – count at least three seconds;
- Check your tyres – if they have less tread on them, the tyres cannot displace enough water, which may make the vehicle aquaplane;
- Check for wear and tear on wiper blades and replace them as soon as they start to smear rather than clean windows;
- Check your car’s lights and indicators to make sure all are working properly and always turn on headlights in wet or foggy conditions;
- Cyclists should use their lights during the day as well as at night, and wearing florescent and reflective clothing will make it easy for drivers to see you;
- Pedestrians should always cross at the lights and be aware that drivers could have difficulty seeing them
It's amazing to learn how many people are getting into riding these days. But with so many of us on the road, there's a flip side. On average 3 riders die and more than 500 are injured on South Australian roads each year -- at a cost of over $20million in Compulsory Third Party insurance.
The Santos Tour Down Under is the perfect place to promote the 'Be Safe, Be Seen' campaign. The aim of the campaign is to promote a safer mind-set amongst riders and motorists. At the end of the day we don't want anyone seriously hurt or killed on our roads. We want a safer riding community for all.
“Anna is an inspirational South Australian and is passionate about cycling safety so I am pleased we have her on board to spread the cycling safety message,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Adelaide is a great place to ride and popularity is increasing significantly as people became more aware of the health, environmental and financial benefits of cycling.
“Unfortunately cycling-related incidents are an emerging road safety concern as more people take up cycling.
“Since 2000, road crash casualties fell by nearly 30 per cent, whereas cyclist casualties increased by more than 20 per cent.”
Mr O’Brien said the Be Safe, Be Seen campaign has a particular focus on how cyclists can make themselves safer on the road.
“Improving visibility is an effective strategy for reducing collisions, particularly during the day when the majority of cycling crashes occur,” he said.
“Riders need to be aware of the importance of good lighting, fluorescent, reflective and generally light and bright clothing to help increase their safety on the road.
“They should always scan the road ahead, look for turning cars and pedestrians, and never assume they have been seen.
“Drivers also need to play their part and be particularly careful to look for riders whenever they are changing lanes, turning into a side street, or pulling out into traffic.
“Usually a crash occurs because the driver didn’t look for the rider at all. A simple second glance could prevent a crash.”
Ms Meares said she had been riding a bike for most of her life and stayed safe over the years by having the right equipment and maximising her presence on the road.
“My advice is to set bike lights to flash in the day, as well as at night time. The flashing helps draw attention to your position on the road,” Ms Meares said.
“What you wear will get you noticed too. Wearing light and bright clothes helps you stand out from the crowd.
“Motorists also need to be vigilant at all times and regularly check their mirrors for riders who could be travelling alongside their vehicle, and always scan for riders at intersections.
“Cycling is my life, and I want to be riding for years to come. So I take the time to be safe and be seen.”
To coincide with today’s launch it was announced the Santos Tour Down Under’s final stage through the heart of Adelaide will be known as Be Safe, Be Seen MAC Stage 6.
MAC has been supporting the Santos Tour Down Under since 2012 and has secured a new three-year sponsorship of the event from 2014 to 2016.
In 2014, Be Safe, Be Seen MAC Stage 6 will take place on Australia Day, with tens of thousands of fans set to line Adelaide streets as the race is decided along a new inner-city route.
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said riders would face a technical fight to the finish on Be Safe, Be Seen MAC Stage 6, with left and right-hand turns into Hutt Street and Bartels Road respectively.
“Australia Day, Be Safe, Be Seen MAC Stage 6 and cricket at Adelaide Oval ensure it will be a very big day in the city,” Mr Turtur said.
“Riders will be kept on their toes until they cross the line and we look forward to the support of local and visiting cycling fans.”
The 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from 19-26 January.
Visit www.tourdownunder.com.au for all the latest news and event updates.
43 fatalities in 2016 102 fatalities in 2015
For more information on road crash statistics go to
Ever wanted to go for a ride with a champion cyclist? Now’s your chance! Get immersed in a 360-degree bike ride with 11 time World Champion and dual Olympic Champion Anna Meares.
Use a Google Cardboard or your device to cycle with Anna as she takes you for a journey around her favourite riding spots, including a lap around the velodrome. Along the way Anna will share her riding tips and point out ways to be safe and be seen - so you can make every ride you take a safer one.
MAC’s General Manager, Road Safety and Strategic Communications, Michael Cornish said the last five years have seen 6 fatalities and 44 serious injuries on South Australian roads over the Adelaide Cup long weekend.
“The statistics show the trauma hasn’t discriminated – drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists; males, females; country and city residents have all been affected,” he said.
“This long weekend, please do the right thing; stick to speed limits, don’t drink and drive, and look out for others on the road,” Mr Cornish said.
If you’re using this weekend as an opportunity to take a road trip, it is not a good idea to set out on your long weekend journey immediately after work.
“Fatigue is a major cause of crashes leading to death and serious injury. Even a momentary loss of concentration can be catastrophic on high speed country roads,” he said.
“Make sure you’re well rested, and plan ahead to ensure you can take a break from driving for at least 15 minutes every two hours – if you drive tired, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, you’re putting others at risk too.”
“This long weekend, a lot of holiday makers’ vehicles will be carrying extra items or towing a trailer or a boat. If you are towing or driving a loaded vehicle, understand it will behave differently with extra weight on board, and that you are likely to be travelling on higher speed roads and will take longer to stop.
“It’s a good idea to put any loose objects in the boot of the car or behind a cargo barrier. Items like laptops, sporting equipment, toys and gaming devices, can become an unsecure missile that hits a passenger and causes injury in a crash.”
For more information on safe country driving visit http://www.mac.sa.gov.au/campaigns/country-driving
Of the 6 fatalities and 44 serious injuries for the Adelaide Cup holiday period between 2011 and 2015:
- 62% were male
- 22% were 16-24 years old
- 46% were drivers, 28% were passengers, 12% were motorcyclists, 4% were pedestrians, and the remaining 10% were cyclists
- 54% occurred in metropolitan Adelaide, 46% in rural areas