The imminent introduction of longer, streamlined truck cab designs to EU fleets could prevent up to 1,200 pedestrian and cyclist KSIs over the next decade, it has been claimed.
In February 2019, EU lawmakers voted to relax restrictions on truck cab lengths, in return for enhanced safety features, including improvements to the field of vision available to drivers.
Underpinning this decision was analysis carried out by the UK-based Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), who evaluated a range of vehicle safety features both separately and in combination with each other.
Ahead of the legislation coming into effect in September, TRL says the additional 80-90 cm of truck cab length will allow for larger windscreens to improve driver vision.
TRL also anticipates design changes which aim to both reduce the severity of the initial impact and direct vulnerable road users away from a truck’s tyres in the event of a collision.
TRL estimates the changes could prevent up to 1,200 KSIs among vulnerable road users over the next 10 years.
Dr Phil Martin, head of biomechanics at TRL, said: “This is a fantastic example of how TRL’s research and extensive consultation support is having a significant impact on the future of international legislation.
“It is estimated that the introduction of longer aerodynamic truck cab designs to EU fleets could prevent up to 1,200 KSIs among vulnerable road users over the next 10 years, whilst potentially reducing fuel consumption and emissions by up to 10%.”