HGVs and cyclists have a difficult relationship at the best of times. One is fast, large and potentially deadly, while the other is small, slow and intensely vulnerable – not to mention often being difficult to see. Winter brings these frequent truths into even harsher reality, as shorter and darker days make it even more difficult for HGV drivers to see and account for cyclists. This week on the blog here at Vision Techniques, we have a few suggestions on how to make things easier – and how our cyclist safety products can help.
Why Is Winter So Dangerous For Cyclists?
Inclement weather throughout winter means that cyclists and drivers alike are often forced to move slowly and carefully. This can sometimes lead to miscalculations about the relative speed and decision making of cyclists – misunderstandings which can potentially have serious consequences. What’s more, reduced visibility caused by the dark and the rain can mean that normally sufficient visibility equipment (such as bike lights) can have its range drastically shortened, causing cyclists to appear far more suddenly out of the dark than drivers are often used to. This means that all drivers – and HGV drivers especially – need to take extra care to look out for cyclists in winter.
There are a few handy safe-driving tips that can help HGV drivers minimise their chances of a collision with any cyclists. It’s always necessary for drivers to give a wide berth when overtaking, but the recommended distance in winter is at least four feet (if it’s safe to do so!). If possible, drivers should also try and give cyclists extra space if it’s windy or wet. Then there are the more obvious ones: drivers should be checking their blind spots at every turn, and should never sound their horns aggressively or in anger.
How Can Vision Techniques Help?
Here at Vision Techniques, we have a whole range of cyclist safety products specifically aimed at tackling this issue, and amongst this range there are certain products that excel themselves in winter. These include the VT TurnAware, a cyclist detection system that uses light, speed and movement sensors to determine the relative speed and direction in which an object is approaching the HGV, enabling it to alert the driver of nearby cyclists while minimising the instances of false alarms caused by static objects.
Meanwhile, our TurnCamera systems give drivers direct visibility with which to detect cyclists. TurnCamera comprises a miniature camera which is mounted onto the HGV’s front wing. It triggers only when the left or right indicator is used, which means that it’s not intruding onto the driver’s awareness in normal driving conditions. On the other hand, if it’s your preference, we can install this product to be always-on, so drivers can always have total confidence that they’re giving any nearby cyclists a safe distance in which to travel.
You can browse our full range of cyclists safety products on our site, and if you’ve got any questions about any of our products, don’t hesitate to give our sales team a call on 08452 873 245.