Trucks, Lorries and HGVs

They are all the same thing and in London (where I am cycling most days right now) there seem to be more of them than back home. Over half the cycling fatalities in London are caused by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), and most of these occur when they perform a left hand turn.

I was reminded sharply of this yesterday when I joined a busy road from a driveway without taking enough care. A loud ‘toot’ from a truck reminded me I had been a ‘silly cyclist’ and should have taken a more serious look behind before joining the traffic stream. Trucks are much wider than your average car!

So there is a continuing campaign in London for cyclists to be more ‘lorry aware’. I ‘borrowed’ the illustration below from that campaign.
I think part of the problem here is maybe that many lorry drivers come from Europe so they are driving on the wrong side of the road (for them), they are probably tired and they could well have a more aggressive style than a UK based driver.

On the plus side, all lorries are fitted with side bars that fill in the gap between the front and rear wheels, these safety bars for cyclists are rarely seen in Ozzie. The most dangerous lorries here are the skip trucks used for construction work on new buildings. These are particularly dangerous as they have no side bars and are paid on a basis that sees them earn more money the more trips they do. So naturally they tend to travel fast and recklessly.
And there is a huge amount of construction work going on at the moment due, I’m told, to the forthcoming Olympics. Central London is having a makeover!

So stay out of the danger zone of trucks wherever you may be. The truck driver cannot see you in this zone. If you find yourself in the zone illustrated, make all attempts to get out of it ASAP. The only safe place is well in front or well behind any truck or bus.

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