Don't know if it's already been shared, but for your consideration...
Don't know if it's already been shared, but for your consideration...
Pull up behind other vehicles so you can see the drivers side rear view mirror. Low stress for everyone.
Truck drivers with any decent training and road experience would be aware of this scenario, and the possibility of other road users pulling along side them. Though made for a dramatic effect, I would suspect that any truck drive overlooking that many cyclists, probably wouldn't have made it past the training stage, much less receiving a commercial driving license for that type of vehicle.
Wow, that is really astonishing! I knew they had a big blind spot, but that's incredible.
I never sit beside trucks if I can help it. If it's at a light, I'll stay behind them. If it's while riding the same speed on a road, I'll slow and pull in behind them.
Probably wouldn't have made it past the training stage isn't good enough. And even so, these truck drivers are subject to fatigue, sleep deprivation, and straight up complacency. You can't expect a driver in practice to have the same vigilance as one in training.
Rule 1- if you can't see the driver, he can't see you.
Rule 2- the rear axle always turns a smaller radius than the front one.
Rule 3- if you can't remember rules 1 & 2, avoid the area between the front and rear axles as if your life depended on it, because it might.
There are a few things to consider for the US side of things. The first is obvious, a truck in the US will be driven from the opposite side, ergo the major blind spot is on the right side of the truck. Secondly, it is rare nowadays (wow I'm feeling old now) to see a cab-over style rig. Yes, there are still a good number out on the road, but the huge majority are conventional style with a hood. That brings up west coast mirrors (aka convex hood mirrors). I guarantee you that with hood mirrors, most if not all of those bikes would have been seen. Now, the flipside to all of this is... If a driver doesn't know HOW to set up all of his/her mirrors, or just can't drive to save their own life, they're pretty much useless anyways. The rule of thumb is "If you can not see a driver's mirrors, the driver can not see you"
Bt and large, the vast majority of drivers I share roads with are decent and courteous, but that's not 100&. With the exception of drivers overtaking from behind over whom I have no control, I ride, not only so drivers don't hit me, but to the extent I can, I ride so drivers couldn't hit me, even if they tried.
Regardless of laws, road design, driver education, or whatever, cyclists have to do what's necessary for their own safety because they have the most at stake.
Same deal with blind-spot riding. One can get away with it quite often; in fact it would be rare for a habitual blind-spot rider to get nailed. However, we all agree that it is a dangerous habit since eventually such a rider will "win" that lottery. It's always good to further minimizing the already low odds of getting nailed when one is riding, IMO.
I have seen that video before. I would never get beside a vehicle like that with the possibility of getting in their blind spot. If I encounter a 'box' truck or big rig, I 'take the lane' behind them or in front of them. But never get beside them. There are some videos' on YouTube of cyclists' snaking through traffic taking unneeded chances. In at least one video, a cyclist gets between a big rig and a small car stopped at a traffic light. Then the car starts to pull forward and drift to the left. That result in the cyclist crashing and almost getting run over by the car, followed by the big rig.
I'll also ride in a truck blind spot, if I'm sure the driver knows I'm there, and there's no upcoming turns. However I don't enter blind spots from the rear, and when trucks pass me I lose some speed so they complete the pass sooner. I hate riding between the axles and avoid it as much as possible, but it isn't always possible.
The reality is I ride a mix of very busy streets and very quiet streets, and adjust everything I do accordingly. As far as I'm concerned, there are no rigid rules. Staying safe while still making decent time is a matter of being aware of the hazards and adapting to circumstances. Summed up in two words it's about "situational awareness".
My thoughts on this and I am going to give the US right side of the road driving perspective....
The scenario would be mirror imaged. In the clip, the truck is making a left hand turn which puts in the US the equivalent of making a right hand turn and all the bikes on the right hand side of the truck. In normal driving and the truck coming up to make a right hand turn, the truck would be previously traveling in the right hand lane. He would put his right turn signal on and when the left side was clear, the driver would swing out to the left lane so he had enough radius to make the right hand turn. Thus, no cyclist or group of cyclists would be caught in the equivalent position shown in the clip.
The clip makes a statement, but I have problems with statements being made with scenarios that just wouldn't happen. A clip like this reminds me of a driver safety video about speed where they show 1 car start to overtake another car and a dog runs out on the street. The overtaking car suddenly cuts back in, goes into an impossible side skid at the speed that was possible in that situation, suddenly rolls over and over and over and over many times and smashes into a wall where a girl was sitting on the wall and her boyfriend standing in front of her. Car obviously crushes the boy killing him and crushes the girls legs. A very shocking video to make a statement except for the fact that a car beginning to accelerate from behind another couldn't possibly achieve the speed in which it would fishtail sideways and roll over and over again way off the road to hit the people by the wall. It is all sensationalism and as such, kills any statement it is trying to make in my eyes.
I'm not fond of using impossible sensationalized scenarios to make a statement. Show something that could happen, not something that is impossible to happen. No one would ever be in those bicycles' positions in a real world situation just as no one would roll their car way off the road and kill someone standing by a wall because they started to accelerate and maybe got the vehicle up to an additional 4 mph.
A truck driver that is operating in an urban environment, won't last long if they are not aware of their vision short comings and don't operate or maneuver their vehicles accordingly. I operate around professional truck drivers regularly, and I find them much more attentive than Dick and Jane Urbanwolfpack. No matter the type of vehicle, I always operate in a manner to let the driver know of my presence, since there are times that I have to pull up along side them.
My rule 3 was to remind them that not every place or position was equally safe, and that they should take charge and avoid, if possible, areas where risk was greater.
Drivers on delivery bonuses, drivers under other pressures to make specified number of trips/day, especially building materials trucks in a city like London where there are very major civil engineering and building projects ongoing, take risks, regardless of their training.
Since I dive, I'll toss in diver's logic as a guide. I dive on mixed gasses (ie. oxygen and nitrogen blended in different ratios than air). The tanks are filled by formula, then checked by a gas analyzer, so by the time it gets to me two people have verified the contents. Yet, I check them anyway with my own analyzer, just in case. To date, I have never found one that differed in analysis from the sticker and receipt, and figure the adds are probably 1,000:1 or better against error. Yet, I still check every tank because I'm the one who's betting my life.
Likewise, truckers are among the best drivers, and I trust their skill. But I know that at least 1 out of 1,000 isn't as good or is tired or distracted, and since I have no way of knowing for sure who's behind the wheel, I treat all truck drivers as if they're unskilled morons (knowing they aren't).
There's also a big difference in potential consequences between getting right hooked by a car or truck. I've been right hooked a few times, mostly with no contact, and two forced turns with contact where I rode the car body around a turn. If right hooked by a truck, there's no body to ride around the turn because the body is at head height. That allows the bike to dump and slide into the path of the rear axle.
Regardless of the odds of getting hooked by a truck driver, the consequences are more likely more severe, so respect them accordingly. I don't have any data, but I'll venture that truck right hooks are much fewer than car right hooks, but if we compare the fatality numbers the gap narrows or might even reverse.
Often, it's not the truck overtaking cyclists, it's cyclists overtaking a truck that has slowed or stopped to make a turn. Passing on the passenger side, or "undertaking" as opposed to overtaking, is a great way to get killed, no matter what the paint on the road says and no matter how much training the truck driver has completed.
Apologize if anyone complains this is not cycling-related, but it's definitely related to trucks' blind spot, the title of this thread:
NYPD traffic officer run over and killed by street-cleaning truck while writing parking tickets
"An on-duty New York Police Department traffic officer was struck and killed by a street-cleaning truck in Manhattan this afternoon.
"Kalyanarat Ranasinghe, 71, was writing parking tickets when he was hit on East 44th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues, about 2.30pm.
"A police report states the freight liner vacuum truck pulled away from the kerbside and struck Ranasinghe, pinning him under the wheel. He died at the scene.
"Witness Anthony Trinidad said he saw the agent talking on his cellphone when he was hit."
"'The driver was pulling out and didn't see him. People were yelling for him to stop.'"
Is there anything more freaking than this? Saturday 2:30 PM on 44th street in the center of midtown Manhattan? The victim was standing, not even walking.
The Share the road cycling coalition in Ontario along with partners in the trucking industry have launched an awareness campaign aimed at both cyclists and truckers.
Some of the reader comments in the Star article are interesting.