UK Mercedes-Benz truck

UK Mercedes-Benz truck; photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz

In partnership with Sainsbury’s, a large UK supermarket chain, Mercedes-Benz has designed a truck with safety features to protect cyclists and pedestrians, as a company press release announces. “We’ve put an enormous amount of thought and research into creating a truck that we hope will be the safest on the road — for all road users,” said Mercedes-Benz Trucks Retail and Operations Director Roger Burney.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks designed the Mercedes-Benz Antos 1824L in collaboration with Solomon and Mercedes. It features new proximity sensors along its sides that beep to let the driver know when anything is adjacent to it on the road, writes Nathan Velayudhan for Gizmag. There are low side guards and reflective infills to protect cyclists from falling under the truck, and extra down-lights so that the driver can see others on the roads better after dark.

The truck also has a blind-spot warning sticker and makes a sound to let people behind the vehicle know when the tail lift is being lowered, the press release says. Drivers of the trucks are even given additional training in preventing pedestrian and bicycle accidents. But the most impressive feature of this truck “by far” is the 360-degree video technology in its cab, providing the driver with views of the road on every side of the vehicle, writes Gizmag.

In the greater London area, trucks are a factor in more than half of cyclist road deaths, even though they comprise only 5% of the vehicles on the roads, Gizmag reports. In the U.S., 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed by vehicles in 2012, Tanya Snyder writes for Streetsblog USA. “Despite the general downward trend in overall fatalities in recent years, pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities have shown an upward trend,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) writes in its November 2013 issue of Traffic Safety Facts.

An NHTSA report titled “Endangerment of Pedestrians and Bicylists at Intersections by Right Turning Trucks,” says that in urban areas, accidents can occur between trucks turning right and bicyclists or pedestrians. One of the main problems, NHTSA writes, is the insufficient field of view of the truck driver.

James Colbourne, of Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd., says that because of this new truck, cities are a safer place:

‘In building these vehicles Sainsbury’s have invested heavily in the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians and have built what can only be described as a fleet of some of the safest vehicles on the road.’

Daimler Trucks North America’s website says it has been the first original equipment manufacturer offering such safety options as Lane Guidance Warning System. This technology alerts the driver when the vehicle begins to drift out of lane. Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz trucks, writes that its North American trucks also offer adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation technology, both of which are reducing the number of accidents.

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