Could a New Truck Design Save Cyclists' Lives?

London group says trucks account for high proportion of cyclist fatalities

London Cycling Campaign

A proposed truck design (right) protects cyclists with greater visibility, lower chassis, side rails, and cameras.

Ask any urban cyclist and they’ll tell you that riding beside a tractor trailer—or any large truck, really—is a stressful experience: you don’t know if the truck is going to suddenly change lanes or turn, and you have no way to know if the driver sees you.

And getting sideswiped by a truck isn’t merely an insurance issue. London Cycling Campaign offers the following statistic:

“Half the cyclist deaths in Greater London involve lorries, even though they make up only 5-percent of the traffic.”

In a new initiative, the LCC proposed an urban truck design that eliminates much of the blind spot surrounding a truck’s cab and adds other safety features to make these large vehicles more city-friendly.

The safety features include:

• A lower driving position for a better view of the road

• More and larger windows surrounding the cab

• Lower bumper clearance and side guards to prevent cyclists from falling under the wheels if hit

• And early warning cameras to signal if a collision is about to occur

Whether or not this design is immediately practicable is only part of the point: with greater and greater urban density and more cyclists on the road, it’s about time there was pressure to design vehicles around everyone’s safety.

Via TreeHugger.

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