Blind spots in trucks represent a huge safety issue, leaving victims with serious injuries. Sometimes, they can even lead to fatalities such as rollover collisions, sideswipes, and underride collisions. Heavy goods vehicles have blind spots on both sides, not to mention the front and the back. A blind spot is basically the area around the vehicle that can’t be directly observed by the driver. If they can’t see surrounding vehicles, like cars or motorbikes, accidents are likely to happen. Generally, it’s a good idea not to ride in a truck’s blind spot. Due to the traffic conditions, this isn’t always possible, so the only thing you can do is hope that things will work out for the best.
Those who are involved in the management of a truck fleet are responsible for overall safety, so they have to manage all the risks that the organisation could face. If an employee happens to get involved in an auto accident, the organisation is liable for the cost of the collision, as well as the resulting compensation. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that blind spot accidents can mount to millions in terms of damages. Simply adjusting the rear-view mirror isn’t enough to avoid a fatality.
Raising awareness about the dangers of blind spots
Early education for drivers plays an important role in raising awareness about the dangers associated with blind spots. Since it’s not possible to completely eliminate the so-called no-zones in the commercial fleet, it’s necessary to remind employees about the importance of checking blind spots prior to reversing, changing lanes, or attempting parallel parking. Drivers have a responsibility to protect and look after vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists. Caution is of the utmost importance. If an unfortunate event occurs, you can be sure that the law will always side with the vulnerable road user.
Develop awareness training programs to make sure that employees understand the risks involved in operating a heavy goods vehicle. The benefits of ongoing training include but aren’t limited to enhancing driving skills, lowering the costs of insurance premiums, decreasing the costs in vehicle repair, and, last but not least, minimizing fuel costs. Even if you resort to installing blind spot devices, be clear that they’re not substitutes for careful driving. Explain to drivers that they must refrain from trying risky manoeuvres. Information of this kind is included in handbooks and other types of instruction material, but it seems that people easily forget what they have learned.
Improving truck visibility
The mirror is undoubtedly one of the most important tools in blind spot accident prevention. Mirrors increase visibility from within the car, offering a small but wide view. So, making mirror adjustments can help to a certain degree. When it comes down to trucks, the no-zones are larger and the rules change. Adjusting the mirrors doesn’t get rid of the blind spot, which is why it’s necessary to take extra measures. The vast majority of vehicles feature driver assistance systems, but fleet managers need to do a lot more to improve overall safety. To be more precise, they should consider additional technology.
Consider investing in blind spot sensor systems that are perfect for assisting drivers. Technology has come a long way since the invention of the basic side and rear-view mirrors. And let’s not forget about turn signals. A blind spot sensor system makes use of cameras, radars, and ultrasonic sensors to detect prospective dangers next to or behind the truck. In addition to audio-video monitoring, the driver is notified of the presence of cyclists, pedestrians, as well as other obstacles. The great thing about the sensors is that they’re robust, meaning that they can’t be destroyed by road chips, for example.
There are many dangers linked to operating a heavy goods vehicle in crowded municipalities such as London. The roads can be highly busy, so it’s vital to pay close attention and cooperate with other road users. As lockdown eases, it’s expected that traffic in the big cities will be greater than ever before. Transport has been reduced due to social distancing measures. Now, people are looking to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus and will most certainly avoid public transport. If everyone makes the shift to the personal car, you can just imagine what it will be like. Getting back on topic, truck driving in major cities isn’t something to be taken lightly.
Recording and assessing crash data
No matter how careful you are or what advanced technology you deploy, auto crashes still take place. Those who are involved in the management of a truck fleet should better obtain the data and analyse it. In other words, it’s necessary to go over previous incidents involving employees to understand what measures they can take to mitigate risks such as blind spots. There are countless methods for analysing crash data. Your choice depends largely on the questions you’re trying to answer. If, for instance, you’re attempting to predict the frequency of truck accidents, Poisson models are the best approach. It will come in handy when it comes down to counting variables.
It’s tempting to think that minor bumps and scrapes don’t mean anything. Well, the truth is that they should be recorded and thoroughly investigated because they might indicate a lack of training or inadequate blind spot provisions. The aim of the analysis is to get a better understanding of the factors that can affect the probability of a serious collision. Safety is the most important concern and this encompasses everything from driver behaviour to vehicle maintenance. Taking into consideration the fact that the accident rate for commercial fleets is pretty high, somewhere around 20 percent, it’s paramount to take immediate measures and minimise the blind spot.
The no-zone isn’t a new problem, but it certainly is causing a great deal of trouble. Not even the most sophisticated technologies have been able to eliminate the blind spots. Maybe not, but they offer a helping hand to drivers who are, sometimes, overcome by the situation and that’s more than enough. Of course, safe driving should be practiced at all times.