Our guest author Christoph Becker dedicates the topic this time to the blind spot. Every year, many fatal accidents are still caused by the blind spot. It is all the more important to yield some central security rules. What is the “blind spot“?
A blind spot is the space that is not visible to the driver despite the use of all mirrors and windows. This often leads straight to often to serious traffic accidents during turns, since other road users, especially cyclists, are not seen.
The blind spots in a truck lie sideways next to the vehicle, but of course also directly in front of the windscreen and in the rear area. The greatest dangers arise therefore during turns or lane changes (side blind spot), when starting (front blind spot) and when maneuvering (front and rear blind spot).
Mirror (Black Spot Mirror)
Unlike the previous use of traffic mirrors, this mirror with its convex shape is arranged as a fourth chamber under the green light in the traffic light system. When a truck driver observes the light signals in the driveway at a traffic light, he has his eye on the cyclist to the right of him.
Offset traffic light circuit
At complex intersections with a lot of heavy traffic, it may be helpful to advance the green light for the cyclist / pedestrian, so that they are already clearly visible in the crossing area when the vehicle traffic gets „green“; a separate traffic light circuit for turning traffic (green arrow) prevents further serious accidents.
Look over the shoulder
The shoulder glance must always be made. It minimizes the area that is otherwise not visible. Both when changing lanes on the highway, but also when starting and of course when turning it is essential.
Blind spot assistant
The assistant either by means of a radar or camera recognizes people who are on the right side next to the truck. Depending on the installed system, the driver is then warned visually or visually acoustically. In this case, the driver then has to independently initiate the required braking. Currently the installation of blind spot assistants is voluntary. Legal framework conditions for mandatory assembly are the responsibility of the EU and must be decided there. Experts estimate that this technique can prevent up to 200 accidents a year. For the drivers it could be a great relief, because they are often convicted of accidents of this kind due to negligence.
All safety equipment and precautions aside it needs to be taken into account that the drivers have performance limits.
Therefore our appeal:
Do not distract yourself with even more, while traffic already requires enough of your attention!
More info can be found in the article of the Federal Highway Research Institute for Accident and Action against “blind spot” accidents: Unfallgeschehen und Maßnahmen gegen „Tote-Winkel“-Unfälle (German only)