King Street
Safety in numbers for Sydney riders

The ever-growing network of cycleways in the City of Sydney has helped reduced the number of instances of crashes for riders.

Between 2008 and 2019 the amount of bicycle trips in the city doubled, and during the same amount of time crashes have been cut by a third.

This reduction in crashes can be attributed to the growing network of separated cycleways delivered by the council and state government, but also the safety in numbers aspect of riding. 

Safety in numbers is a well documented phenomenon when it comes to bicycle riding and there are a number of suggested theories as to the reasons for this.

  • The behavioral adaption of motorists, meaning that they drive more carefully in places where there are large numbers of riders.
  • Large groups of riders also make drivers more aware of the riders presence.
  • Large numbers of bike riders help enforce the legitimacy of cyclists as road users.

A study found that while numbers were part of the reason that more riders generally leads to better outcomes, safety was improved when riders were concentrated on a limited number of high density routes.

This was evident even when rider numbers were static or decreasing.

This concentration of riders is often observed when desirable infrastructure is built, such as the cycleway network in Sydney.

In 2018 there were 104 reported crashes, compared to 154 in 2010.

While the crash numbers are down, the council reminds riders to be be careful at intersections, with 'right through' crashes the most common recorded incidents.

Right through crashes happen at intersections when a car turns right and hits a bike rider traveling in the opposite direction.

However, with the cycleway network in Sydney expanding, and new infrastructure projects being announced, we hope to see better safety outcomes for the riders of Sydney.

If you have had a crash you can report it using our crash reporting tool here.

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