Retrofit floor-height passenger door window aims to improve safety for cyclists around HGVs

Astra Vehicle Technologies has developed a retrofit floor-height door window for the passenger side of an HGV to provide a direct view of cyclists and pedestrians.

The ‘Astra Clearview’ window also allows the main passenger door window to open; a key benefit that enables drivers to have a clear view of traffic during poor weather and to allow access to the mirrors from the passenger seat for cleaning purposes.

Cheshire-based converter Astra has been working with Daf Trucks in response to the challenge laid down last month by London mayor Boris Johnson to make the capital’s roads safer by retrofitting HGV fleets with additional windows.

The company added that development of its prototype passenger door window has also followed guidelines suggested by the Clocs initiative in improving safety for cyclists in close-proximity to HGVs.

Astra Clearview will be showcased for the first time on the Daf Trucks stand at the Freight in the City Expo at Alexandra Palace, London on 27 October, when more than 750 urban logistics professionals will gather to view the latest HGV technology for city operations.

On show will be a Daf CF 400 FAD 8×4 tipper retrofitted by Astra, which now features a secondary low-level passenger door window to enhance driver view of kerbside obstacles, but which still allows the main window to fully open.

Director of Astra Vehicle Technologies John Chadderton said: “By working closely with Daf Trucks, we believe we have come up with a solution that is innovative, forward looking – and works. We have not only improved driver vision to cut down on accidents, but have produced a cost-effective retrofit product that, dependent on door geometry, could translate to other models and makes of goods vehicles.”

The Astra Clearview features:

  • Large low level window area to provide maximum visibility;
  • Exterior window, which is fully bonded and rubber sealed;
  • ‘e’ marked and kite marked toughened safety glass to European standards;
  • Window and door card vented to aid demisting;
  • Additional internal door lock security panel;
  • Interior secondary glass panel which allows the original door window to fully open to allow easy operation and cleaning of mirrors;
  • Secondary internal glass is rubber seal mounted (not bonded) allowing access for later maintenance if required;
  • The ‘door open’ warning light has also been repositioned.

Make sure to register now for your free entry to attend next week’s Freight in the City Expo!

  • Jim Kinghan

    If all cyclists would use the brain that thy were born with in the first place, and realize that you only die once, then we might get somewhere…….Such a bunch of NUMPTYS, Dont they know that a red light means STOP ??? A truck or bus can kill you if you get under it…….Ffs Such a load of bollox trying to blame the driver for their stupitity…

    • James Mcpartland

      Well said

  • avlowe

    Jim – it is very clear that the zone hidden by the A pillar, the cluster of mirrors and the front nearside body panels is effectively invisible from the driving position, unless of course you get up off the seat and look around them. Major research involving all makes of commonly used truck established this and the proof is clearly demonstrated in a video widely viewed of a truck driver running over a motorbike in the path of his truck in broad daylight and clear viewing conditions. It is not therefore unexpected to note that 80% of the fatal HGV cycle collisions in London involve the truck coming from the rear with the cyclist directly in this invisible zone, or visible for a second or less (when tests indicate that it takes 5-6 seconds to scan round every mirror AND look where you are going).

    Why also do so many fatal crashes have reports of desperate attempts to flag down the driver – apparently unaware of the screams, and crunching of the bike going under the truck 49 metres to make an emergency stop from … 13mph? reported at one inquest. Perhaps turn down the radio and open the window? Be especially aware of this massive design flaw with modern trucks?