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.
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: