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Commercial Vehicle Safety and City Cycling

Aug. 22, 2019

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more Americans have taken to the road on bicycles.

Whether it’s to commute back and forth to work, for exercise, or just for fun, bicycling is becoming more popular.  In the US, bicycles on the roadway must follow the same laws as vehicles.  Sharing the road can become tricky with blind spots around commercial vehicles because of their massive size and body styles.

The increase in the popularity of cycling inevitably means that accidents involving vulnerable road users are increasing. In 2017, 783 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States.  The advent of electric bikes has also encouraged more people to take up cycling.  The advent of electric bikes has also encouraged more people to take up cycling. Unfortunately, they have caused an uptick in injuries and deaths because of the increased speeds and urban congestion.

Large trucks present a hazard for cyclists, particularly in the US where around 10% of vulnerable roads users were killed in accidents involving commercial vehicles. These often occur when a large truck is turning left at an intersection. In addition, about a quarter of accidents resulting in serious injury to a cyclist involved a commercial vehicle, bus or coach ‘passing too close’ to the rider.

In 2014, New York City started the Vision Zero program with the mission to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2024.  The plan includes criminal charges against traffic violators, speed limit reduction, slow zones, increased enforcement, increase use of speed cameras, quicker repairing of broken traffic signals, and strict enforcement on taxi drivers.  Traffic fatalities have decreased but it’s still not enough

City cycling is a dangerous pursuit, and while many cyclists are responsible and careful, journeys still involve constant maneuvering through heavy traffic. A second’s distraction from a driver can mean disaster, so it’s important that fleet managers take every possible step to ensure safe driving.

Commercial vehicle camera systems have a vital part to play in helping to keep cyclists safe, and our vehicle-mounted CCTV cameras can help drivers to see blind spots and offer a reversing aid by delivering a live feed on the monitor of everything in the camera view, so that cyclists are easily spotted in time to prevent an accident.

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