The city’s initiative to reduce traffic deaths may be called Vision Zero, but for municipal truck drivers it’ll translate into a little more vision — in the form of fewer blind spots.
The city will begin replacing the 2,500 fire engines, garbage trucks, dump trucks and more in its fleet with new “high-vision” vehicles, the department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camilo said.The new rides will minimize blind spots with lower cab heights, more windows and smaller hoods.
“Mayor de Blasio’s historic Vision Zero initiative continues to take common sense steps to save lives and keep people safe,” Camilo said. “Things as simple as the design of fire engines can reduce blind spots and help prevent collisions.”
The costs of upgrading the trucks will vary depending on the city agency and function they serve, the city said. The swaps will be made on a rolling basis, and the city typically replaces about 10% of its vehicle fleet each year.
In London, a study found that the high-vision vehicles made a difference: reaction times were 70% in traditional trucks than they were in the high-vision ones, and the reaction time in collisions involving pedestrians was twice as slow in regular trucks.
City vehicles are involved in about 6 collisions per 100,000 miles traveled, according to DCAS. In fiscal year 2018, which ended in June, city vehicles were involved in 6,304 collisions — down from 6,444 the fiscal year before.