National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) through Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) kicked off a new industry project with the Truck Industry Council (TIC) last week.
The project explores what a framework could entail for assessing the direct/indirect vision in trucks and features Final Year Project student Andy Hua and Esther Chew, who is completing a 20-week placement as part of her Bachelor of Psychology. Andy and Esther are supervised by David Logan and Amanda Stephens respectively.
The aim being is to help reduce the blind spot risk of trucks by helping the industry make informed decisions when purchasing their vehicles and what aftermarket additions may assist.
Andy and Esther (pictured) visited the IVECO truck dealership on Wednesday and joined the TIC’s Chris Loose in gaining a first-hand look at cab visibility.
The project’s focus is two-fold.
From an engineering perspective, the project will explore the approaches that can be taken to reduce direct/indirect vision risks for heavy vehicles operating in urban areas. These risks refer to truck blind spots that vary by vehicle design. Direct vision is greater in some heavy vehicles due to manufacturing features such as larger windows and lower cabs. Indirect vision is enhanced by mirrors, cameras and sensors.
From a psychology perspective, the project will explore the human factor elements that affect truck drivers’ awareness of vulnerable road users through direct and indirect vision mechanisms.
In addition to forming part of Andy and Esther’s studies, the project shows a collaborative pathway for NRSPP, MUARC and industry to take the time to understand and explore key risks and the solutions that may be applicable. This project is being used as a foundation stage to inform a potential larger project next year where the students’ findings will be applied and tested.