The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) and CityLink operator, Transurban, have joined forces to urge passenger vehicle and motorcycle drivers to know truck blind spots, so that they can be seen by heavy vehicle drivers.
The blind spot, the VTA explains, is the area where drivers lose sight of the vehicles around them and is typically immediately behind them and on the driver and passenger vehicle side. For trucks carrying large loads – often with a combination of up to three trailers and a prime mover – the blind spot is significantly greater, and extra caution and care is required by other drivers to ensure they can be seen.
During National Road Safety Week and throughout November, Transurban is displaying billboards on CityLink reminding motorists that trucks have large blind spots and that they should take steps to remain visible.
“Heavy vehicle blind spots are a lot bigger than people expect and unlike a car they extend the entire length of the trailer, which can be up to 50 metres for some combinations,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.
“As among the most prolific users of CityLink, there are several hundred truck movements on the road every day, and we applaud Transurban for their campaign to remind passenger vehicle drivers to know truck blind spots,” he said.
“While heavy vehicle collisions have reduced over the past year, sideswipes remain one of the most common types of heavy vehicle collisions on CityLink, said Transurban Road Safety Manager, Liz Waller. “This month we’re asking everyone who uses CityLink, to get to know your blind spots. We need you to play your part to keep everyone safe When changing lanes, especially on entering CityLink, make sure you pay attention to the vehicles around you.”
Anderson said heavy vehicle drivers are constantly on the lookout for other motorists, however blind spots can make it almost impossible for them to see drivers occupying these areas around their vehicles.
“To keep safe and help truck drivers, avoid pulling up next to a truck on the highway and refrain from driving immediately behind a truck, because the driver won’t know you’re there,” he said. “And if you are driving in an adjacent lane next to a truck on a freeway, make sure you are ahead of the prime mover or well behind the trailer, so you can be seen in rear view mirrors.”
Anderson said as a rule if you cannot see the mirrors of heavy vehicle in front of you, the truck driver won’t be able to see you.
“Because of their size, weight and configuration, the passenger vehicle driver will inevitably be worse off in any accident involving a truck, irrespective of who might be at fault,” he said. “This underscores the importance of being as visible as possible. If you are passing a heavy vehicle do not linger in their blind spot for too long or underestimate how long it may take to pass them – especially on single lane roads.”