Three measures for preventing blind-spot-related road traffic accidents
Over the past few weeks, the blind spot problem involving lorries has gained a great deal of interest. After all, lorries are involved in accidents more often than cars, with all the consequences this entails.
“Better safe than sorry!” – preventing blind-spot-related road traffic accidents
The blind spot problem is keeping the government, logistics companies and social organisations rather busy. Veilig Verkeer Nederland (VVN), the Dutch Traffic Safety Association, is pleading for cyclists and moped riders to be physically separated from lorries. The difference in mass between cyclists and lorries is so great that it poses a risk to road safety, but until this separation is made, other measures need to be taken to prevent blind-spot-related accidents.
1. Education and information to cyclists and lorry drivers;
According to Veilig Verkeer Nederland, all schools should give their pupils special blind spot classes. Each year, 10 people on average die in the Netherlands because they were in a lorry’s blind spot, for example, and weren’t seen. See also the report made by RTL Nieuws news programme on the blind spot classes:
2. Warning system on vehicles
Despite the compulsory extra mirrors with which lorries must be fitted as of 2003, the vehicles could be even safer. Take blind spot warning systems, for example, which alert not just the driver, but also cyclists.
Lisa2Alert, for example, is a supplementary system for preventing blind-spot-related accidents that works alongside existing mirrors (and cameras). Developed on the basis of everyday practice, this warning system emits audible and visual signals for pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders. The system focuses on the interaction between the truck driver and the other road users as soon as he decides that he wants to turn right.
3. Safe junction designs
This applies in particular to junctions where cyclists and lorries may encounter one another. In practice, this means: non-conflicting green phases at traffic lights, and separation of routes for cyclists and lorries.