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The true size of HGV blind spots

rear of hgv

Posted on 27th Feb, 2019 by Dominic Benabda

It’s fair to say that other road users can underestimate just how difficult driving can be for HGV drivers. One of our recent posts discussed Direct Vision, (link) and why it’s so important. This blog follows neatly on from that, as we discuss the blind spots associated with driving these types of vehicles and why so many drivers and fleet operators find our products so useful.

Blind spot visibility

We know HGVs have very different blind spots compared to a normal car. The average HGV driver can’t see anything for 10 metres behind him, because his view is blocked by the bulk of his freight. This means that any vehicle behind or driving alongside the HGV has to be exceptionally aware for the sight of his indicators. (This is especially true for cyclists, which is why we’ve designed TurnSign, our own visible warning system to make them fully aware of the driver’s intentions.)

pedestrian warning on hgv

No vehicle on the motorway should be ‘undertaking’ anyone on the left, this driving behavior can easily lead to accidents. Blind spots in this situation are greater with larger vehicles as the lack of visibility means that the driver has even less chance of seeing the car in question.

Thankfully, there are various products and devices on the market that drivers and fleet managers can use to mitigate these sorts of blind spots. These include extra vehicle cameras, and products like TurnSensor and TurnCamera, both of which are specifically designed for this sort of scenario.

Stopping distances

When driving behind an HGV, drivers should maintain a distance of four car lengths (at the very least) this should give the driver enough time to stop. Of course, this time varies depending on where and how fast both vehicles are travelling, so both factors are also key to bear in mind. However, in real life situations this doesn’t always happen, and some road markings are ignored by other road users.

HGV vehicles should be given plenty of space when overtaking. The driver’s direct vision still leaves a significant blind spot cone around the very front of the cab, so moving back in front of the HGV without giving it sufficient clearance may give rise to a rear-end collision. This can be the source of major frustration for HGV drivers and fleet operators, as it can result in some expensive liability claims. Thankfully, they can protect themselves from such claims using systems like our VT Record mobile DVR system.

These are just a few of the systems we provide here at Vision Techniques, but obviously your requirements may well vary! It’s why we maintain such a broad range of vehicle safety products. We also offer a consultation service where we identify blind spots associated with your vehicle and tailor a package to suit your specific requirements.

Feel free to take a look around our site or give our friendly sales team a call on 08458 684 858. We’re here to help!