Getting around

Bike riding in Sydney shows safety in numbers

A decade’s worth of data shows there are more bike riders with fewer crashes on city roads.

Safe cycling in the city

Bike riding in Sydney is safer than ever, with smarter riding and separated cycleways helping reduce the number of incidents in the City of Sydney area.

Bike trips doubled in the city from 2008 to 2019. Over the same time reported bike crashes have been slashed by one-third. 2018 saw 104 reported crashes compared with a peak of 154 in 2010.

Riders should continue to stay aware at intersections, roundabouts and when passing car doors – these are the main causes of reported crashes.

‘Right through’ crashes at intersections are where a car turns right and hits a bike rider travelling in the opposite direction. These are the leading cause of all reported crashes at 13%.

12% of crashes are ‘dooring’ incidents, with Crown Street in Surry Hills being the worst area in Sydney for this type of crash. Evidence shows separated cycleways can help prevent dooring incidents. Bourke Street, George Street (Redfern) and Union Street have all been free of reported dooring crashes since separated cycleways were put in place.

‘Cross traffic’ crashes at intersections make up 10% of all incidents, with around half of this type of crash happening at roundabouts.

Other situations to be aware of include pedestrians stepping out from footpaths, rear end collisions and side-swipes by passing vehicles. Also keep an eye on vehicles turning left into your path and cars emerging from driveways.

How you can stay safer when riding

Ride in the primary position in the lane. This means you stay wide of the door zone and in the driver’s direct line of vision.

Use clear and confident hand signals at intersections.

And always be ready to take evasive action. Crash data shows riders are less likely to be at fault, but you should be ready for the unexpected.

Learn more about techniques to improve your skills and confidence at our free Cycling in the City courses, held fortnightly at Sydney Park, Alexandria.

Published 11 February 2020, updated 12 February 2020