‘High-tech’ headgear highlights commercial vehicle blind spots

08.48 | 26 April 2018 | | 1 comment

Highways England has developed a new virtual reality app to in a bid to reduce the risk of commercial vehicle drivers being involved in collisions.

The app, which teaches drivers about commercial vehicle blind spots, can be accessed on a smart phone attached to a simple pair of cardboard goggles.

The app includes five road safety scenarios for both left and right hand drive vehicles, covering: mirror adjustment; identifying vehicles in blind spots; joining a motorway from a slip road; overtaking; and tailgating.

The app is on show this week at the 2018 Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC in Birmingham, with Highways England giving the free headsets to visitors.

Highways England says although developed for commercial vehicle drivers, the app could also benefit private motorists by giving them a sense of what commercial vehicle drivers experience every day.

John Walford, Highways England, said: “We have set ourselves the long term vision that no-one should be harmed while travelling or working on our roads, and within that (we are) doing all we can to help reduce collisions involving lorries because they tend to have a greater impact when they do occur.

“They most commonly occur when trucks change lanes or attempt to overtake, and using this technology allows us to provide a realistic environment for commercial vehicle drivers so that they can experience the impact of not using their mirrors to check blind spots.

“It’s just one of the steps we’re taking to help improve safety for this valuable group of drivers and ultimately everyone who uses our network.”


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    I have a memory of two of two recent collisions that HGVs have had that resulted in the running over and crushing of vehicles and their occupants. As both vehicles were directly in front of the HGV prior to the collision that to some degree these fatal accidents are caused by insufficient safe space between vehicles and perhaps the drivers being temporarily distracted.

    The giving of greater safe space would or could have enabled the driver to regain control of his vehicle and could possibly have avoided the collision all together or that he might have been able to brake earlier and to some degree mitigated the effect of the collision .

    With HGV drivers not realising the stopping distances of their vehicles and driving a mere 20 ft behind one its not a nice situation for any car driver to find themselves in.

    R. Craven
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