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Club news: ADAC warns “Blind spots pose fatal risks”

Publication date: 02 September 2015

The German Automobile Association, ADAC, warns that collisions between heavy goods vehicles (HGV) and cyclists or pedestrians frequently cause severe or even fatal injuries. The most dangerous situations arise at intersections when HGV drivers turning a corner fail to see a cyclist in the blind spot. The German Federal Highway Research Institute estimates that in 2012 there were 650 turning accidents between HGVs and cyclists on German roads involving personal injuries, 30 of which were fatal.

HGV side and rear visibility are strongly impaired. This is why trucks are equipped with a number of mirrors which are, however, unable to solve the blind spot issue since drivers may still not fully detect vehicles or pedestrians in the blind spot. Turning manoeuvres therefore require a driver’s maximum attention to avoid endangering vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists travelling straight ahead.

For their own safety, pedestrians or cyclists should not remain in the blind spot. When stationary at red traffic lights, for example, it is better to be behind than beside a truck and to wait until the long vehicle has fully turned. Also: eye contact makes partners of road users. When crossing the road, pedestrians or cyclists should turn round and make sure that the drivers of the vehicles turning the corner are aware of them. If in doubt, it is preferable not to insist on one’s right of way but rather stop to prevent a collision.

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