A cyclist shared his shock at the day he was struck down by a vehicle.
A cyclist shared his shock at the day he was struck down by a vehicle. Supplied

Horror accident: The day a car knocked me unconscious

ROB Thompson's whole attitude to cycling changed the day he was struck down by a vehicle.

It was in September last year, riding in Noosa when he saw a vehicle attempting a U-turn.

He next regained consciousness as an off-duty firefighter assisted him up off the bitumen.

It was his first accident in almost 50 years of cycling. It left him with fractures to his tailbone and vertebrae, not to mention the scars you can't see.

"I remember the U-turn but that's it. Then I was on the ground," he said.

"When you've been cycling as long as I have you hear of accidents but until it happens to you they don't seem real.

 

"It could have been a lot worse obviously. I think someone was looking after me that day.

"I've always been aware and careful but everything changed for me that day. I am more careful now and think about what the driver is doing. It is about thinking ahead."

Mr Thompson bravely got back on the bike at the start of the year but has limited how fast he will now go.

It is a message the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club president now insists his members understand.

"It is all about road safety, teaching them what to expect, particularly if they're alone," the 58-year-old said.

"We teach the basics but with more cars on the road than ever it is getting harder and harder."

Cycling Queensland CEO Anne Savage said it was their mission to create safer roads across the state.

"Whether you're a motorist, a bicycle rider, or both, we all need to share the road safely," Ms Savage said.

"Bicycle riders are legitimate road users and have rights and responsibilities, like all other road users.

"Motorists and bicycle riders who break the road rules will be fined."

Bicycle Queensland's best road safety practices

Cyclists should always

  • Obey the road rules
  • Use clear hand signals
  • Wear an approved bicycle helmet and display lights and reflectors when riding at night and in hazardous weather
  • Maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front
  • Ride as near as possible to the left side (or on the road shoulder) unless on a multi-lane road
  • Stay to the left of any oncoming vehicle
  • Do not overtake another vehicle on the left if that vehicle is indicating and turning left or if it is not safe to do so
  • Only ride with more than two riders side by side when overtaking
  • Ride no more than 1.5m apart, if travelling beside another rider
  • Keep left and give way to pedestrians and other bikes coming towards them while riding on footpaths.
  • Bicycle riders are some of our most vulnerable road users.

Motorists should always

  • Be aware of riders
  • Leave a safe distance when passing bicycle riders
  • Give way to bike riders when required
  • Be patient and waiting until it is safe to pass bike riders
  • Practise caution around bike riders in wet weather
  • Indicating long enough to warn other road users when changing direction or passing a bicycle rider.

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