If your fleet of vehicles has to spend a lot of time with customers in (inner) cities, then blind spot situations occur regularly. At traffic circles, intersections and side streets, fellow road users easily line up in this blind spot that truck or van drivers cannot see. Or there are obstacles in places where your vehicles must park to deliver customers. How do you prevent accidents with cyclists or damage to the fleet due to obstacles? We would like to tell you more about it in this knowledge article.
The blind spot: what about it again?
Dead spots are the areas around a truck or van where the driver cannot see (vulnerable) fellow road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. Because every vehicle has a different shape, blind spots never look exactly the same.
What about the blind spot? To the right of the truck or van is the most well-known, but there are more areas where there is a blind spot.
In front of the vehicle: Because the driver sits higher above the road, the front of the vehicle obstructs visibility directly in front of the vehicle. This is dangerous when pulling away from an intersection.
Right front of vehicle: This area is not very obvious, but it is definitely a blind spot. The A-pillar causes this blind spot. When a vehicle turns right, this is dangerous.
To the right of the vehicle: The most well-known blind spot is to the right of the vehicle.
Right rear of vehicle: Despite the mirror being on the right side of the vehicle, there is a large area there where the driver has no overview. This is also where the danger is when turning right.
Behind the vehicle: Because trucks and many vans have a closed rear, there is an elongated area there where drivers have no visibility. This is especially dangerous when reversing
When a truck driver approaches a traffic circle or needs to turn right, the vehicle in the blind spot may be invisible to the driver. This can lead to collisions and serious accidents with vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. According to research by the Institute for Scientific Road Safety Research (SWOV), about 10 people die each year as a result of an accident involving the blind spot.
Where do blind spot accidents take place?
Accidents in which the blind spot plays a role occur mainly when drivers of trucks and vans change direction or have to maneuver. And that happens frequently within built-up areas. In general, the blind spot comes into play in the following three situations.
What are the regulations regarding the blind spot?
The blind spot has been the cause of accidents and traffic fatalities for years, despite regulations to improve visibility around trucks. Research conducted by the Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid (SWOV) showed that between 2008 and 2016, there were about 10 deaths per year as a result of a blind spot accident.
In recent years, therefore, regulations from the European Union have also come into effect to improve blind spot visibility and reduce traffic fatalities.
In Germany, an active blind spot assistant is mandatory for new LHVs as of July 1, 2020.
Transporters with vehicles over 12 tons operating in Greater London must comply with new Direct Vision Standard (DVS) guidelines starting in 2021.
From July 1, 2022, an active blind spot assistant will be mandatory for all LHVs operating in Germany. This is a smart camera in which the driver receives audible and visible warnings when a fellow road user moves into the blind spot.
The next few years will also see new regulations. From July 2024, the General Safety Regulation (GSR) will go into effect, where the goal is to reduce traffic fatalities to 0 by 2050. In doing so, it is important to protect vulnerable road users through the use of smart assistance systems, such as a 360-degree camera system.
What are the consequences of a blind spot accident?
In an accident involving the blind spot, we distinguish between emotional and economic consequences. With emotional consequences, there are several people involved who experience negative consequences after a blind spot accident. Of course, these are those directly involved. But people not directly involved in the accident itself can also experience stress or negative feelings.
The victim often struggles with the effects of the accident for years to come. He or she may also have to deal with a long rehabilitation and partial or total disability.
Even though drivers are always so careful when it comes to blind spots, when an accident does happen, they are victims. The driver often faces trauma and (long-term) disability.
Relatives and/or loved ones
When it comes to a fatal accident, next of kin have to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one. If the victim is (seriously) injured, this often has a major impact on the life and future prospects of their loved ones.
Although the director was not directly involved in the accident, he or she may still experience a lot of stress and negativity. The business owner feels partly responsible for the accident and faces negative consequences.
In addition, a blind spot accident also involves economic damages, which are always borne by the transportation company. On average, damage costs about 2,600 euros. This includes the costs of immobilization and repair of the vehicle, the insurance deductible and the costs of late delivery and/or destruction of goods.
Reduce the risk of a blind spot accident with the OmniVue 360 HD
Fortunately, there are solutions that visualize the blind spot. Several camera systems offer a good look into the blind spot. This can start with a single camera on the right or behind the vehicle that images the right side of the cab or the rear to 360 camera systems that image the entire area.
The OmniVue 360 HD is a camera system for trucks, vans, cleaning machines and construction equipment, among others. Because the system provides a complete view around the vehicle, there are no more blind spots. This allows the driver to see all other road users around the vehicle. Obstacles also come into view when parking and maneuvering in narrow streets. With the OmniVue 360 HD, the driver can anticipate any situation.
Due to the high definition (HD) image quality of the cameras and the monitor, the driver's view of the vehicle's surroundings is razor-sharp. This gives him or her a sharp view into the blind spot. The OmniVue360 HD plays an important role in improving the safety of your fleet. Both for drivers and other road users.
Rietveld provides tailored advice
Do you want to start creating a safe working environment for you or your colleagues? We would be happy to tell you, without obligation, about the possibilities for your organization and how the OmniVue 360 HD system fits in. Would you prefer to see how a 360 degree camera system works first? We would be happy to come by with our demo truck. With over 25 years of experience in vehicle safety, we have the best solution for your organization.