A driver knocked me off my bike onto the road before stopping her car on top of me...People driving motor vehicles have an obligation to be more vigilant and aware of their surroundings while driving. 

"On January the 28th in 2004 a Sedan decided to have a face off with my push bike.

A driver knocked me off my bike onto the road before stopping her car on top of me. In the aftermath that followed, my 10-year-old daughter Adrienne and wife Robyn attended the scene of the collision. They watched as I was attended to by staff at the scene, which was an upsetting experience for both.

Arrangements were made for my daughter Adrienne to be looked after by a friend of the families, while the gravity of my injuries were assessed and treated at the hospital.

The most challenging part of my 1 month long stay in hospital was the time spent in the general ward. I had much more in common with people in other areas such as the orthopaedic ward where there were people like me with broken bones and other injuries. Within two months of the collision I started riding a bike at the gym. The delay was due to my bone fractures still healing, rather than having a fear of returning to the hobby I love.

I never received an apology from the woman that ran me over, which I suspect was due to her lawyer advising her against it. During the court case she wanted to ensure she wasn’t accused as at fault for the collision.

People driving motor vehicles have an obligation to be more vigilant and aware of their surroundings while driving. Accidents like mine, could have been prevented if the driver was monitoring her peripheral views, rather than just straight ahead.

I believe that cyclists are overrepresented in road trauma statistics. Introducing mandatory helmet laws has not satisfied Government’s obligations to help keep cyclists safe and more needs to be done. We need to put in place dedicated cycleways to keep riders safe.

Even though my incident was serious, and impacted not only me but my family and everyone involved, it was important for me to focus on my recovery to keep my spirits up. I am always thankful that I never became psychologically troubled from it (e.g. PTSD), however I do still occasionally think about what happened to me. The lesson in what happened to me is that when riding a bicycle in Australia you need to be seen at any cost!" 

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Road Trauma is a serious issue in Australia than impacts thousands of individuals, families and communities every year. What can you do to reduce your risk and help eep your family and community safe? 

Our sincerest thanks to Rod Fritchley for telling his personal story.