This Gadget Is Stopping Traffic Collisions Before They Happen

Because in a fight with a truck, you’re gonna lose.

Oct 29 2016, 1:00pm

Image: BBC

Bicycling in metro areas can be terrifying—and sometimes life-threatening. But technological aids like collision-avoidance systems are gaining popularity and may be saving lives.

One company, Taylor and Sons, a hauling company in Nottinghamshire, UK, took that approach and outfitted their 60-truck fleet with special sensors that warn drivers when a biker or pedestrian is dangerously close, the BBC reported.

The system works like this: When a bicyclist is far enough away from the truck that it's safe to continue, a light inside the truck turns green. If the biker is getting pretty close, the indicator turns orange, and a red light shines if the biker or pedestrian is close enough to get hit.

Outside the truck, a warning message plays when the truck is turning left, so bicyclists on their left-hand side will hear "this vehicle is turning left" and know to get out of the way, according to the BBC.

Some companies also use collision-avoidance systems on forklifts and other construction equipment to prevent pedestrian accidents on job sites.

Since the fear of being hit by a car is still one of the main reasons why more people don't bike around cities, this could be a step toward safer roads.