Posted on 30th Jan, 2017 by Jonathan Peach
Cyclist safety is a massive national concern, especially for those in urban environments, and is a big issue for us at Vision Techniques. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on our roads went up by 59%, which is an unnerving figure to say the least, and current London mayor Sadiq Khan made it a focal point of his campaign. HGVs were involved in the vast majority of these accidents, despite making up a tiny proportion of normal road traffic.
A crucial cause of HGV’s lethality to cyclists is something we’ve talked about before – the size of their blind spots. Because of their height from the ground, HGVs have a considerably larger blind spot than most vehicles. Vehicles typically used in construction are especially prone to this sort of weakness, as they have even higher cabs and smaller windows than other lorries and articulated vehicles. Even the most competent and responsible HGV drivers and cyclists can still find themselves involved in a collision due to the size of the vehicle’s blind spot.
When collisions do occur, it’s an unfortunate fact that the very size and mass of the vehicle contributes to the high rate of fatalities. Conversely, cyclists by their very nature are small and lightly protected, which makes them very vulnerable. Unlike cars, which have sufficient mass to make a noticeable impact in a collision, occasionally drivers will not even realise they’re involved in an accident until a few moments after the fact, which can be additionally devastating for the cyclist involved.
Many of these accidents occur within the confines of city centres, where streets are sometimes narrow and the drivers’ blind spots are restricted further. The high number of tight corners that HGVs also have to make also increases the likelihood that one of them will put a cyclist in danger. Cities have become such a hotspot for such accidents that there are even pushes to ban HGVs from driving in cities during rush hour altogether.
The welfare of all users is of paramount importance to us at Vision Techniques, especially those as vulnerable as cyclists, and therefore we’ve developed a number of products to help increase the awareness of HGV drivers, and thereby ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Our TurnSafe cyclist detection system is a blind spot camera system that uses light and motion sensors specifically designed to be able to tell the difference between static road furniture (like temporary road signs) and anything actively moving towards the vehicle, whether pedestrian or cyclist. This in turn helps the driver to maintain constant awareness of his surroundings, even when he can’t always see them with his own eyes. Meanwhile, the TurnCamera allows him to do just that – installed on each front wing of the HGV, they activate when the left or right indicators are used, allowing the driver to see exactly what’s around him and therefore allowing him to make confident manoeuvres that are entirely safe for surrounding road users.
You can check out our case studies to find out how municipal HGVs are already benefitting from our technology, or contact us on 08455 911 434, and we’ll be happy to help you with any enquiries.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @visiontechnique