‘Bird’s eye’ cameras make trucks far safer

Cameras that give truck drivers a 360° view of the space around their vehicles can prevent many fatal accidents involving trucks and cyclists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says many cyclists are invisible to truck and bus drivers.

“Most trucks are still using mirrors to see what's going on around them. Therefore, huge parts of the roadway around the truck are invisible to the driver. This, inevitably, contributes to terrible accidents with cyclists and pedestrians.”

Bird’s eye’ cameras (also called 360° cameras) are increasingly common on newer trucks but are largely absent on older models.

“The technology exists, here and now, to show a driver what’s going on around his or her entire vehicle. Beeping sensors can also warn drivers when another vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian is close to their vehicle. This is lifesaving technology, and it should be fitted to every commercial vehicle immediately.”

Matthew-Wilson adds: “Fancy technology doesn’t mean the driver can stop paying attention: quite the opposite. ‘Bird’s eye’ technology means the drivers are going to have to regularly scan the entire space around their vehicles. At present drivers often simply assume there’s nothing in their blind spots, because they can’t see there.”

‘Bird’s eye’ cameras for large trucks and buses typically cost around $2000-$4000 to install.

Smaller versions for light vans and ordinary cars typically cost between $500-$1500, including installation.

Matthew-Wilson says there’s no longer any excuse for commercial vehicles to be ‘blind’.

“Mirrors on vehicles have been around since the nineteenth century. Mirrors generally show only a small portion of what's happening around the vehicle. It's time all vehicles were fitted with technology that shows the driver what’s actually going on.”