The challenges of sharing roads - drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

By Ronak Shah

Drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians all have their individual pain points when it comes to sharing the road. With increased congestion in major cities, there are plenty of causes for frustration when sharing the road and this is ultimately leading to increased risk of causing a fatal accident. 

Between 2017 and 2018, on Australian roads, there was a 1.8% increase in driver fatalities, passenger deaths also increased by 3.8%, pedestrian deaths increased by 4.7% and cyclist fatalities increased by 80% ( The Guardian ). It is predicted that this increase across the board has been somewhat caused by mobile phone distractions, speeding and road congestion as well as drug and alcohol use.

So how can drivers increase awareness when sharing the road? In our CDTA low-risk driving courses, drivers are trained to ensure they are counting a 2-second delay behind the vehicle ahead if they are driving at a speed greater than 60 kilometres per hour, 2.5 seconds when travelling at 80 kilometres per hour and 3 seconds when driving at 100 kilometres an hour. According to VicRoads , when driving alongside cyclists, drivers need to allow 1 metre of space when travelling less than 60 kilometres an hour and leave 1.5metres if travelling any faster than 60 kilometres per hour.

For cyclists, it is important to stay visible with reflective lights and bright attire. This way, drivers can easily spot the bicycle as soon as it appears in their mirror. It is equally important to obey the road rules and minimise distractions. Using earphones can affect awareness on the road as does the use of mobile phones and electronic activity. Similarly, pedestrians can reduce risk by minimising mobile phone usage when crossing roads and unplugging headphones. This allows for full awareness of traffic signals and vehicles that may be taking a quick turn.

By increasing awareness and minimising distractions, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can all minimise risk for themselves and for others on the road. To learn more about low-risk driving, visit

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