Killer Pillars – Warning To Britain

17 Sep

Channels: Government

Road Safety Organisations Call For Urgent Government Action To Educate Motorists About Blind Spots And Review Vehicle Manufacturing Guidelines

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** STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 THURSDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER 2009 **

A warning goes out today to Britain’s ‘white van man’ as new research released today by road safety organisations reveals that many popular van designs have dangerous blind spots, caused by the A-Pillars on either side of the windscreen, which are wide enough to hide a cyclist, motorbike or group of people from view. In order to raise awareness of the problem, the top 20 best and worst vehicles for driver visibility are revealed as the Government is urged to urgently act to educate learner drivers.

With 1,599 pedestrians mown down by vans each year*, almost 50,000 (35%) accidents and over 500 deaths per year due to drivers ‘failing to look properly’** and almost 17,000 cyclists injured on the roads each year***, today Roadsafe, the cycling charity CTC and Autoglass launch a campaign to press the government to review vehicle manufacturing guidelines to improve driver vision. They are also pushing the Driving Standards Agency to provide guidance for driving instructors on educating new drivers about the ‘A-Spot’ and for educating drivers on the road about A-Pillars.

MIRA (formerly the Motor Industry Research Association) was commissioned to test driver vision in different makes and models of modern vans and cars. The tests included a calculation of the A-Pillar blind spot, or ‘A-Spot’ – the width of objects obscured from a driver’s vision at 23 metres; the stopping distance required when travelling at 30mph.

In 2006, the same group of motorist experts first commissioned A-Pillar testing in a number of vehicles, revealing worrying blind spot results. Encouragingly, recent tests results show that manufactures have addressed the thickening A-Pillar in some newer models of cars****, however many vehicles still have large blind spots and vans cause a particular problem so action is now been urged on the Government to change manufacturing guidelines.

For details of the findings or to organise an interview opportunity please contact:
Alicia on 020 7535 5800.
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