Cycling deaths could be reduced with lorry redesign

Loughborough University publishes report into lorry-cyclist collisions, part-funded by Transport for London

Cycling deaths caused by lorries would be reduced should a report’s findings pave the way for a radical redesign of large and heavy goods vehicles.

Models proposed by Loughborough University on the back of its report into cycling-lorry deaths would ensure that drivers could see cyclists more clearly and in places that are currently out of sight because of blind spots.

The models proposed are:
– An 80cm longer cab with a rounded nose
– Expanded glazed areas
– Lower driving position which would increase range of sight
– Smaller dashboard

More than half of cycling deaths in London are caused by lorries with the figure nationwide at over a third.

Partly-funded by Transport for London, the report found that of the 704 accidents involving HGVs and cyclists, 31 per cent of fatalities were due to drivers pulling away, 26 per cent at turns (19 per cent left turns, 7 per cent right turns) and 25 per cent because of drivers reversing.

William Todts, a senior policy advisor for Transport & Environment, said: “Not only drivers, but politicians too need vision. It’s incomprehensible that we allow huge 36-tonne mammoths on our roads without making sure the people behind the wheel actually see what’s going on.

“After decades of tinkering with mirrors, we now have an opportunity to make direct vision compulsory in new lorry designs and save hundreds of lives.”