People in California may have seen an interesting article about a new breakthrough safety precaution which has been saving bicyclist lives in several large metro areas across the country. The fix is rather simple, but the results can save lives by protecting cyclists from being crushed by large vehicles on busy roads in congested urban areas and suburbs alike.
By installing side guards on large trucks, cyclists who might be side-swiped by these vehicles without the driver even knowing it may be protected from some serious injuries. The side guards essentially fill the open space beneath the truck on the sides between the rear and front wheel, so that bikers and pedestrians cannot become trapped and ultimately crushed under the massive wheels of the vehicle. The side guard effectively keeps pedestrians and cyclists out of harm's way, or at the very least gives them precious seconds to get out of the collision path before being smashed under a truck's wheels.
The cost of these side guards isn't unreasonably expensive, but instituting this fix in California will potentially require local and state government to take the lead and require it. Southern California is home to tens of thousands of avid cyclists, so it makes sense for California to require the implementation of these safety guards on city buses, commercial trucks and other large vehicles.
It may be months or even years before California cities require the use of these guards, but cyclists should voice their concern with local and state politicians. If there is a way to avoid fatal bicycle accidents and keep cyclists free from avoidable dangers, it may be well worth it.
But until this happens, and even afterwards, large trucks still pose a tremendous danger to people on bicycles. Those who have been injured by a negligent or reckless driver should consider contacting an experienced California personal injury attorney for a consultation.
Source: Next City "When Will the U.S. Embrace This Simple Change to Make Cyclists and Pedestrians Safer?" Josh Cohen, June 1, 2015