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How Garbage Truck Technology is Helping to Protect Vulnerable Road Users

| May 14, 2019

The majority of incidents involving waste industry employees occur when the individual is outside their vehicle

Every year, the US generates approximately 254 million tons of trash with the average American throwing away approximately 4.4 pounds of garbage per day. Managing the collection and disposal of much of this refuse is the USA’s network of garbage trucks.

Collecting waste is not a job for the faint-hearted. Contending with unsociable hours, the rancid contents of garbage cans, and navigating a large vehicle through narrow streets can be an arduous task even for the most experienced worker. It’s also a dangerous industry, with at least 17 fatal incidents reported by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) in the US and Canada in the first four weeks of 2019.

The majority of incidents involving waste industry employees occur when the individual is outside their vehicle. Vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, are also particularly at risk of being injured by dump trucks due to vehicle blind spots.

In February, a cyclist was hit and killed by a garbage truck in Carrollton, New Orleans after it collided with the man who was riding his bicycle on the same side of the road. Although the collision is still under investigation, it is likely that blind spots had a part to play in the incident.

Blind spots have been a deadly problem for drivers of waste trucks and other large vehicles for many years. Addressing the issue has been key to improving road safety and preventing deaths and injuries.

One company at the forefront of dealing with eliminating blind spots is commercial vehicle safety expert, Brigade Electronics. Corey Heniser, CEO at Brigade Electronics INC, said:

“Enhancing safety on our road network is absolutely critical to improving fatal incident rates involving vulnerable road users. One of our commitments is to help industries,

including waste and recycling, by improving driver conditions through the aid of vehicle safety technology that will alert and warn them when objects or people are in a vehicle’s blind spot.”

Brigade’s product portfolio offers a comprehensive range of commercial vehicle safety systems.These include audible warning alarms to alert pedestrians and other road users outside the vehicle when it is backing up, video recording equipment to determine the cause of incidents and to aid in deterring poor driving, and ultrasonic detection systems so drivers can be made instantly aware of objects or people in the immediate vicinity.

Driver visibility is also crucial to solving blind spots. Although mirrors have been a legal requirement for many years, they don’t solve the issue of areas that are obscured for the driver by a vehicle’s bodywork or machinery. In fact, in some cases, mirrors can make blind spots even worse as drivers have to make numerous checks by scanning multiple mirrors – all while watching the road.

Brigade’s revolutionary Backeye®360 has been designed with this in mind. The 360-degree intelligent camera monitor system eliminates blind spots by providing a complete view of a vehicle’s surroundings in real time, which is fed back to the driver via a monitor mounted inside the cab.

Category: Driver Stuff, Featured, General Update, News, Safety

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