HGVs and road safety
Cycling in London is on the increase and although it is generally becoming safer, more than half of all cyclist deaths in London are caused by collisions with goods vehicles.
Most cyclist and Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) collisions happen when vehicles turn left at traffic lights or other junctions.
Risk can be minimised if lorry drivers and cyclists alike are aware of each other and behave responsibly.
What you can do
- Leave space at junctions for cyclists - don't cross stop lines or infringe on cycle Advanced Stop Line
- Stay alert and look out for cyclists, particularly on your left side
- Wait for the right moment to pass cyclists and give them plenty of space when overtaking
- Remember your vehicle is huge compared to the vulnerable cyclist - an adult cyclist may only be the height of your wheels
- Look out for cyclists when opening doors
- Remain alert even in stationary traffic - pedestrians and cyclists may weave through queues of traffic
- When turning left always indicate well before the junction and make sure your indicator stays on, even when you are waiting to turn
- Get the best mirror system you can, one that includes a FRESNEL lens. By fitting the lens to the passenger side window of your cab, you can improve your vision of cyclists on the left hand side of your vehicle
- Get a side guard fitted if your vehicle doesn't have one or a side sensor to help you know when a cyclist may be on your near-side. Discounted sensors are available from the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) website
- Get the best driver training by joining the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), a unique, industry-led accredited scheme that aims to transform freight delivery in London
- See our training film for cyclists and lorry drivers
Fit sideguards or audible warning devices to your vehicles
- Research from Transpot for London (TfL) shows that vehicles without sideguards are involved in a disproportionate number of fatal collisions with cyclists. These events tend to occur when vehicles are turning left and mostly from a standing start at traffic lights
- If this not possible, you could modify them and operate your vehicle with the uppermost guard only
- If fitting a sideguard is not feasible, consider having an audible warning device fitted. The cost should range from £400 to £600 per vehicle
- Where sideguard fitting is a viable option please contact your maintenance, bodywork provider or vehicle supplier as they will be able to help you
When turning left
- Always signal and do so well in advance. A cyclist already on your left hand side or in front of you cannot see your indicators
- Actively look for cyclists on your left hand side. If you even suspect they are there, pause briefly to let them get out of your way especially when pulling away
- Remember that if you have passed a cyclist just before approaching a traffic light or a junction, it is very likely they will end up on your left hand side or just in front of you. Assume the cyclist is in one of your blind spots
- Leave room in front of you when stopped at traffic lights to allow cyclists and motor cyclists a margin of safety
What we are doing to help
- Transport for London' s (TfL) freight unit have given away 20,000 FRESNEL lenses in 2008
- The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) distributed 5,000 FRESNEL lenses for vehicles working on the Olympic site
- FORS distributes stickers which warn cyclists of the dangers of undertaking on the left of an HGV
- Free or low cost cycling training funded by TfL is available in all London boroughs
- We've produced a training film to help cyclists and lorry drivers navigate London's busy roads - and each other - safely
Find out more about safety advice for cyclists.