Everyone who uses the road is a vulnerable road user. While we may not all ride a motorcycle, bike or gopher, we are all pedestrians so the Motor Accident Commission is reminding us all to take care every time we walk, run, ride or drive on our roads.
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.”