I’ve written about truck side guards before and how they make the roads far safer when cyclists, pedestrians, and trucks are sharing them. There have been calls now for over 15 years to make them mandatory yet the use of them remains a good will gesture by individual trucking companies.
If you’ve ever experienced a truck passing you on your bike, you’ll know that you disappear between its huge frame and the side of the road. You feel invisible, and that is because you are invisible. For years the side guards have taken the form of a solid panel running along side the trailer base between the front and back wheels. They perform the function of a bumper on the side of a truck. They are intended to keep the cyclists from falling or getting trapped under the truck. Side guards are especially effective in urban areas where trucks and bikes and people are all operating in close proximity and frequently.
Now Nu-line has designed a new style of side guard for trucks that protects pedestrians and cyclists. The 2015 Canadian National Collision database reports that 22% of fatal truck and pedestrian/cyclist crashes are side collisions. In response to the numbers the EU and some North American municipalities have introduced legislation requiring the use of side guards.
Side guards can be an effective and simple way to protect the vulnerable road users in our communities and governments at all levels should take their use into consideration as we continue to advance active transportation policies. Protection o fall road users needs to be a priority.