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Raising Awareness about Turning-Related Accidents

Sep 2018

News & Campaigns

High risk from “blind spot”

Experience shows time and again that although accidents involving turning trucks and cyclists or pedestrians are rare, they tend to have particularly serious consequences. In order to avoid accidents like this, one important measure is technological enhancements in vehicles – for example, retrofitting them with turning assistance systems. But it is equally important to raise awareness of the risks of the “blind spot,” as DEKRA is currently doing at many of its German branches. It is important for school pupils to find out for themselves where truck drivers can see them – and where they can’t. To this end, they are given a first-hand demonstration with a vehicle belonging to a DEKRA member company to show them how big the “blind spot” actually is, even when all of the prescribed mirrors are optimally adjusted, and how a small road user in particular can actually disappear from the field of vision here.

Turning assistance systems can help drivers with this issue. Nevertheless, the DEKRA experts consider it essential for all road users to be informed about the factors that make it difficult for truck drivers to see and particularly for them to detect cyclists and pedestrians. For example, the closer a person is to the side or front of a truck, the more difficult it is for the driver to see him or her directly through the windows. The driver can only recognize a person as such if the driver can see enough of the person – either directly or indirectly in the mirrors. If the driver can only see a dark pair of shoes at the edge of the mirror or a bit of hair through the window, this is difficult. Furthermore, the mirrors show a smaller or distorted picture of reality.

Pedestrians and cyclists who know all this can help avoid dangerous situations themselves. The DEKRA experts also give the following advice:

  • Unprotected road users should keep far enough away from the side or front of a truck in order to be seen.
  • If you want to cross the road in front of a truck, you should make eye contact with the driver whenever possible and wait instead if necessary.
  • Cyclists should not go past a truck that is waiting at traffic lights on the inside of the truck.

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