In 2014, 59 cyclists died after being struck by large trucks, according to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One of the most recent truck accidents involving a cyclist occurred in Porter Square, Cambridge on October 5, 2016. 60-year-old, Bernard Lavins was cycling when he was struck and killed by an 18 wheeler truck. In a WBUR article, a cyclist at the scene of the crash stated even though bikers follow the rules of the road they are still not noticed. Truckers not being able to see cyclist, because of their large “blind spots” is a common reason why truckers hit cyclist.
Crashes like this have encouraged the U.S. transportation safety board to urge regulators to make it mandatory that trucks be equipped with side guards. Side guards, which are currently required on all trucks in Canada and Japan, cover the gaps between the wheels of trucks. The initiative to require side guards on trucks was a result of two crashes that killed one cyclist and severely injured the other, in Montreal, occurring in the same week. Both crashes, reported in the Globe, occurred when the cyclist fell under side of the truck.
Crashes, like the ones in Montreal, have led New York City and Boston to implement ordinances hat require trucks to be equipped with side guards. In 2015, Mayor De Blasio of New York signed a bill making side guards mandatory on all trucks by 2024. This bill was signed in hopes that sideguards on trucks in New York will have the same effect they did when they were implemented in the UK. A study, conducted by The National Transportation Systems Center (“NTSC”), showed that in the UK accidents dropped 61% after side guards were installed on trucks. The NTSC study also stated that the cost to install side guards on current trucks could be as low as $600, which is cheaper than the UK price of $847. This cost could also decrease if trucks were built with side guards already installed.