Truck driver says cyclist blind spots don’t exist

UK investigation into cyclist death looks at truck blind spots

If you’ve ever driven a truck, you’d agree there are blind spots to the front and sides of the cab, right?

Well a truck driver in the UK has broken ranks and said he believes not seeing a cyclist near a truck can only be the failure of the truck driver.

Clive Matthews drives a 24-tonne rigid truck, he’s told Forbes Magazine that truck drivers just need to take more care.

“It’s not a blind spot, it’s a fail-to-look-spot,” – truck driver Clive Matthews

Forbes Magazine is looking at the issue of truck blind spots after a truck driver was cleared following a coronial investigation into the death of a cyclist in London last year.

Peter Fisher, a physician, was killed when his bicycle was hit by a truck being driven by Samantha Southouse.

She says she checked all her mirrors before driving forward from a standing stop, not seeing that Dr. Fisher had stopped to the front of her vehicle.

A police officer told the inquest that the physician would have been obscured from the truck driver’s view, and images in the truck’s convex mirrors would have been “heavily distorted” because of Dr. Fisher’s position on the road in front of the truck.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death and no evidence was found of poor driving.

But Clive Matthews believes truck drivers should shoulder more of the blame in incidents such as this.

He demonstrated to the magazine how a bicycle was always visible from the driver’s seat, telling the publication that to avoid incidents such as the London fatality, “the driver (just) has to actually look”.

“[My truck is] fitted with the legal minimum of mirrors. A mirror each side, plus wide-angle mirrors, curb mirror, and a front [Fresnel] mirror looks ahead of the truck down below to what the driver can’t see.

“The whole blind spot thing is a myth to excuse drivers who haven’t bothered to look.”

Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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About Joel Helmes 1836 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

1 Comment

  1. My view is the cabins have been unconsciously designed for the mental security of the drivers and some separation from their environment has come into it. Driving one of these is desperately different from a tractor cabin which is designed to allow the maximum possible visibility. I know from experience the difference is extreme.
    Its not possible to depend on drivers themselves. That’s been proven and Vision Zero is an outcome of that realisation. Safety engineers have been onto that for a long time that safety has to be built into the environment and not depend on the all too fallible human beings.

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