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The Human Cost of HGV and Cyclist Collisions

Posted on 15th Apr, 2014 by Jonathan Peach


With a sudden increase in the number of collisions involving cyclists on London’s roads over the last year, it’s sometimes easy to lose the human impact among all the statistics.

This week on the Vision Techniques blog, we’re taking a look at the very real cost of collisions between cyclists and HGVs.

All it takes is one life-changing moment

Olimpo Andrade came to the UK from Ecuador in 2000. A keen and experienced cyclist, he was always very careful on the roads, and never felt that he had any reason to worry.

All that changed one morning in February, 2011. Olimpo was cycling to work at around half past seven. He was overtaking a bus on Brixton Road, when an HGV came up on his outside. The driver failed to spot him, and the consequences were catastrophic.

Olimpo’s pelvis and legs were crushed. He lost his left leg, spent months in hospital and now lives in constant pain, confined to his flat and unable to pursue the independent life he enjoyed so much before the accident.

Olimpo’s lawyers are still working on his case years later: they think he has a good chance of winning compensation that will enable him to regain a degree of autonomy, but the reality is that resolving cases like these takes years. Meanwhile, all that Olimpo can do is wait.

Collisions between HGVs and Cyclists: a common risk

A poll of adults in London carried out by ComRes at the end of last year found that 20% of cyclists have been involved in a collision on the roads; the figure increases to 26% for those cyclists taking to the road once a week or more.

20% of cyclists questioned said that they have stopped cycling to work because the risk is too great, while a further 30% state that they have altered their route to work in a bid to reduce the risk of an accident. With cycling lanes in the capital having recently been criticised as ineffective, it remains to be seen how safe these ‘safer’ routes really are.

The VT Turnsafe™ vehicle safety system: a revolution in reversing cameras

With the media spotlight understandably shining brightly on cyclist safety, Vision Techniques has revolutionised its range of vehicle safety systems, including the VT Turnsafe™.

This innovative vehicle reversing camera and warning system that gives HGV drivers and other road users vital extra time to prevent collisions, particularly when performing notoriously dangerous left turns.

TurnAlarm: Audible Visual Awareness: our TurnAlarm vehicle safety system uses high intensity LED lights and a speaker alarm system to alert cyclists and pedestrians to HGVs that are about to turn.

TurnSensor: Side Detection System: using ultrasonic proximity sensors on the side of the vehicle, the TurnSensor vehicle safety system alerts HGV drivers to dangers in their blind spot.

TurnCamera: Blind Spot Visibility: our high performance reversing camera can be positioned to the rear of your vehicle or all around, capturing your blind-spots when you manoeuvre.

Talk to us today to find out how a Vision Techniques vehicle safety system could prevent a tragedy occurring on your fleet’s watch.

Have you or your drivers been involved in a collision with a cyclist? Tell us your experiences in the comments below or tweet us @VisionTechnique.