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Mercedes Benz Econic

Now you see me: 4 in 5 Brits believe seeing a driver’s face helps to understand their intention on the road

More than half of respondents feel safer when they can see a motorist’s face

  • Four in five (88% motorcyclists and 82% cyclists respectively) agree that they need to see a driver’s face in order to feel safe on the road
  • Nine in ten (94% motorcyclists and 93% cyclists respectively) state that seeing a motorist’s face helps them to understand their intention
  • 10% of respondents aren’t aware that truck drivers have restricted visibility

Visibility of a driver’s face is paramount to not only understanding their intentions on the road, but also to our safety, according to new research released by Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK to mark this year’s Road Safety Week.

The survey of 2,000 drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians[1] found that seeing a driver’s face is important to understand their intentions on the road. In addition, this was of most importance to those on two wheels, with over four in five agreeing that they need to see a driver’s face in order to feel safe on the road, and nine in ten stating that seeing a motorist’s face helps them to understand their intention.

With this year’s Road Safety Week focusing on vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists, the research also looked at their behaviour when sharing the road with trucks. Although nine in ten (87% cyclists and 91% motorcyclists)[2] are aware that truck drivers have restricted visibility, more than half (58%) admitted to having stopped or passed on the inside of a truck which then turned left. In addition, 61% of those on two wheels have undertaken a manoeuvre within close proximity of a truck, then regretted it afterwards, realising that it was potentially dangerous.

Mercedes Benz Econic View from the cabTraditionally, truck drivers sit above other road users in their cabs, which can make it difficult for them to interact with both road users and pedestrians. That’s why the Mercedes-Benz Econic features a low cab and deep, panoramic windscreen to maximise visibility, allowing cyclists and motorcyclists to make eye contact with drivers at junctions. The Econic is fitted with Active Brake Assist 4 as standard – Mercedes-Benz is the only manufacturer to offer a system that can potentially reduce collisions with crossing pedestrians. The Econic can optionally be specified with numerous other safety features, including a blind spot camera system and Sideguard Assist to provide additional support for the driver where there is a risk of collision.

Commenting on the research, Mike Belk, Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK Managing Director, said: “It’s interesting to learn that by seeing a driver’s face, road users can better determine the intentions of the driver, making them feel safer whilst on the school run or daily commute.

“At Mercedes-Benz, we are committed to using the very best technology to increase visibility on the road, helping to keep both the driver and other road users as safe as possible. We have been developing innovative safety systems for more than 45 years and we continue to advance road safety with our latest trucks, including the Econic.”

The Mercedes-Benz Econic fits perfectly with this year’s Road Safety Week theme – Bike Smart – as cyclists and motorcyclists can make eye contact with drivers through its full-length glass passenger door. The truck has already been awarded the maximum five-star rating from Transport for London, which plans to implement a Direct Vision Standard scheme in London late next year. This would ban zero-star trucks over 12 tonnes from entering the capital from 2020.

Mike Belk continued: “We’re pleased this year’s Road Safety Campaign puts the focus on those who are most vulnerable on the road. Raising awareness of truck drivers’ interactions with cyclists and pedestrians will help to guarantee the safety of all road users.”

[1] Survey of 2,000 UK wide drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians by Atomik Research, November 2018

2 Sample of 563 cyclists and motorcyclists from the above survey


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