Evidence suggests that many heavy trucks may have serious blind areas within which passenger vehicles may not be visible to the drivers of such trucks. A two goal plan was established to (1) determine the magnitude of the blind area problem and (2) develop a visibility target that could be employed in FMVSS for ensuring that trucks would comply with driver visibility requirements. A three-step methodology was developed for assessing the blind area problem. The first step, sitting in the driver seats of many truck types and roughly calculating blind area sizes, revealed substantial blind areas for some trucks. The second step involved the development and implementation of a rigorous means of accurately mapping the blind areas of 16 trucks representing the most common designs on the road. The same individual (standard observer) was used to establish eye positions for all trucks and fields of view (FOV) were measured by determining the closest ground points observerable. FOV maps were also made for a cab over engine and a long-hood conventional vehicle using the procedures outlined in FMVSS proposed amendments using a transit line-of-sight and photographic techniques. Results indicated that cab over engine vehicles exhibit large blind areas in the adjacent right lane forward of the area observed on right outside rear view mirrors. Blind areas were sufficient for completely masking a compact car and, in some cases, the largest of cars on the road. A target was developed to be consistent with both near-term "add-on" solutions and long-term truck redesign. The target is comprised of three grids located in the adjacent right lane. Requirements for the percentage of each grid viewed are specified for both direct and indirect viewing.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Vector Enterprises Incorporated

    1550 Seventeenth Street, Vector Research Division
    Santa Monica, CA  United States  90404

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • BURGER, W J
    • Mulholland, M U
    • Smith, R L
    • Bardales, M C
  • Publication Date: 1980-8

Media Info

  • Pagination: 129 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00329078
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VR-80-1 Final Rpt., HS-805 636
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-HS-7-01721
  • Files: HSL, NTIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 21 1982 12:00AM