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Research reveals most dangerous HGV designs for blind spots

Research reveals most dangerous HGV designs for blind spots

Research by Loughborough University has shown that HGVs with high seated cabs have the most blind spots and pose the greatest risk to cyclists and other road users. Transport for London (TfL) commissioned the study to understand blind spots that affect HGV drivers as they are disproportionately involved in collisions involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

The research team at Loughborough used some of the most advanced digital technology to virtually scan and create CAD models in order to accurately recreate scenarios involving vulnerable road users. The results showed that the height of the cab above the ground is a key factor which affects the size of vision and indirect visions blind spots. Low entry cab designs demonstrated real benefits in terms of reducing direct vision blind spots when compared to standard vehicle designs that were tested.

Since the research has been published, the research team have called for new blind spot standards which defines what should be directly visible from a HGV cab. However, suggestions such as reducing can height may mean a total redesign and that may be difficult to enforce without a legislation in place. Other solutions such as near side cameras, proximity sensors and cycle safety stickers are other options which can help in reducing collisions between HGVs and vulnerable road users.

Steve Summerskill, project leader, said: “If you seriously want to reduce the number of collisions involving vulnerable road users and HGVs you have to improve the direct field of vision for drivers – and from our research this means lowering HGV cab designs or adopting low entry cab designs.”

 

We are discussing how best to tackle HGV blind spot issues on our Road Safety Community Forum on LinkedIn so join in and tell us what you think!

 

11 August 2016

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