Eliminating truck blind spots – a matter of (direct) vision

July 26, 2016

The way trucks are designed and configured has a major impact on what truck drivers are able to see from their cab (direct vision). A new study by Loughborough Design School (LDS) has analysed the direct vision and blind spots of top selling trucks in all vehicle categories (long-haul, construction, urban). The study shows that there are large differences between best and worst-in-class performance.

The EU is currently planning new vehicle safety requirement for trucks. Based on the findings of the LDS report, T&E, in its briefing (downloadable below) recommends that the EU should set direct vision standards for trucks – specifying what truck drivers need to see with their own eyes – and mandate at least best-in-class performance for different truck categories. But there is potential to do better than what is currently best in class.

Indeed, the report shows how so-called “low-entry cabs” (see below) outperform virtually all of the current best-in-class performers. Generalising their application, in particular for vehicles used in urban transport, would have major safety benefits. In addition, the recently agreed directive 2015/719 provides truckmakers with 800-900mm of extra design space. This extra design space (+30%) must be used to redesign long-haul and construction cabs in a safer manner. The Commission has indicated it will introduce direct vision standards for trucks but only from 2028.

This briefing shows that vehicles with good direct vision are already on the market, and that there is no reason to wait until 2028 to mandate direct vision improvements.

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