Seattle makes a big safety improvement to city trucks

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Sharp-eyed Seattle residents may notice something different about SDOT trucks.

Earlier this month, the Seattle Department of Transportation started installing side guard panels on city-owned heavy trucks.

Seattle’s Department of Transportation has started installing the side guards on the city-owned fleet. (Photo: Seattle DOT)

Why truck side guards matter

This may not seem like a big change, but it could have a big impact.

Truck side guards are panels designed to keep people from getting caught underneath a truck.

On city streets, those side-impact collisions usually occur when a trucker turns in front of people walking or biking. If you don’t understand how that happens, watch this truck driver demonstrate the blind spot where people are biking.

It’s a good investment.

Adding these inexpensive, locally-made panels to heavy trucks significantly reduces the likelihood that a city-owned vehicle is involved in a fatal crash.

Seattle is following New York, San Francisco, and Boston in the city-wide implementation of side panels on heavy trucks. The University of Washington added side guards to all campus trucks in 2015.


See how it works:

How a simple truck side guard could save thousands of lives

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