This isn’t a particularly nice subject, but it’s one that needs talking about. This year in London of the 7 cyclist deaths caused by Lorries, 6 of those were women. That’s a pretty frightening statistic, below is a list of those women.
1. Eilidh Cairns, 5th February, Notting Hill Gate
2. Rebecca Goosen, 8th April, Old Street
3. Meryem Ozekman, 9th April, Elephant & Castle roundabout
4. Adrianna Skrzypiec, 15th May, Woolwich
5. Emma, 12th June, Charterhouse Street
6. Catriona Cockburn, 29th June, Oval
I myself passed the site of the 6th victim minutes after the accident on my daily commute , to see tarpaulin shielding the scene as the Emergency services frantically tried to save this poor woman’s life. It was a truly chilling sight.
With the upcoming Olympics here in London, and a large Rail project in progress there is a lot of construction going on, which also means there are a lot more HGV’s on the roads. This article is not here to blame either cyclists or the HGV drivers, but merely to raise awareness that we need to be very careful on the roads.
Below is some info very kindly offered up by a truck driver called ‘Nozzer’ on the blind spots of HGV’s and the dangers involved. Thanks to him and Buffalo Bill @ Moving Target for getting this information.
Transport for London have also finally done something and released this informative video
(The HGV is in Blue, The blind spot is in Red)
Pic 1) and pic 2) Truck turning left/on a left hand bend.
Rear of the trailer will be moving closer to the kerb and further to the left than the cab.
The cab will be on the white line or even crossing into the other carriageway depending on how sharp the turn is and how wide the road is.
Driver is HIGHLY unlikely to be looking in his right hand mirror unless to check if the corner of the trailer is in the right hand lane-and all he’ll see in it is the headboard of the trailer if he is.
Predominantly he’ll be looking in the left mirror/ahead.
Pic 3) Truck going in a straight line.
This is also the same visiblity as a rigid or non-articulated vehicle. Assume the driver is using his mirrors only in the direction of travel in a rigid vehicle.
If the truck is stationary or it’s safe to do so-(ie assuming no oncoming traffic there needs to be no bends in the road coming up and the truck isn’t indicating) then this is the safest time to overtake.
DO NOT UNDERTAKE while it’s moving-and if you MUST undertake then only do so if you KNOW the truck isn’t going to move before you’re past.
DO NOT pull up in the nearside red zone by the cab.The kerbside mirror shows very little. If the driver is going to miss you,unless you’re directly behind the trailer this is where he’ll miss you while the truck is stationary.
We’d far rather you pulled up directly in front of us and we could see you.
Pic 4) and pic 5) Truck turning right/on a right hand bend.
Rear of the trailer will be on the white line or even crossing into the other carriageway depending on how sharp the turn is and how wide the road is.
BEWARE the back end of the trailer-if this is a very sharp bend the rear of the trailer will be moving to the left as it pivots round the axles. This is a SERIOUS crush hazard and the driver CANNOT SEE IT at all and is unlikely to know the trailer has hit someone. I once ripped the front bumper and valence from a Discovery that tried to push through and I didn’t feel it.
Driver will be splitting attention between right mirror(back of trailer),left mirror(Is the headboard going to intrude on the path?) and ahead.
If an articulated lorry isn’t stopped in a straight line DON’T undertake. Your chances of being seen are slim if bent left and nil if bent right and you’re likely to get crushed as either the cab or trailer will be coming very close to the kerb.
For the same reason don’t cycle up behind one in the red zone at speed then pass-the driver may already have comitted to a manoevre because his mirrors look clear.”
If you see an HGV stop and put his hazards on directly after a turning/side road make CERTAIN he can see you. He’s likely to start reversing into the side road as soon as he thinks he’s clear behind. Many HGV trailers DON’T have reversing lights so don’t rely on seeing them and hearing a beeper coming from 45′ away on the cab is a bit of a tall order.
The triangular red zone on the right of the cab that appears to be out in the middle of nowhere isn’t actually a blind spot as such-but is an area that may well be obscured to the driver by the window pillar and isn’t actually directly visible while driving. If the vehicle has a right-hand lower wide angle mirror then this won’t be a blind spot.
Be very aware that the wide angle mirrors are extremely difficult to see a cyclist in,given the amount of time we can dedicate to them whilst moving.That goes for both sides.We’ve still got to look in the direction we’re travelling in.
And an aside-in defence of us…
We’re more likely to be looking in our mirrors and to have seen you than the 50 car drivers you just passed.
Incidentally, I used to ride motorbikes through London regularly. I still ride regularly and have a fair idea of what to avoid. Even with more BHP/tonne than a Ferrari under me and being twice the size of a cyclist passing lorries is an unpleasant experience. I think you guys are f*cking crazy and as such should be thoroughly encouraged (take it as a compliment-it’s meant as one).”