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Rise in car accidents prompts calls to lower speed limits
The number of car accidents caused by blind spots is three times higher than researchers initially thought, according to revised statistics, leading to renewed calls for lower speed limits.
Previous numbers indicated that there was an average of 30 to 40 blind spot accidents per year, about five of which were fatal, reports De Morgen.
But now that statistics no longer only take into account collisions between trucks and bicyclists, the numbers have tripled.
In 2020, for example, cars, vans and buses accounted for another 57 blind spot accidents, according to media reports.
“These figures show that passenger cars also have a blind spot, which can lead to life-threatening situations,” said Flemish MP Stijn Bex (Groen), who requested the figures from the competent minister Lydia Peeters (Open VLD).
According to traffic experts, the best remedy is to limit the speed in built-up areas to 30km/h everywhere, explaining that “when cars or trucks drive slower, the accidents are less serious.”
Peeters pointed out that many measures have already been taken to prevent blind spot accidents, including training young people and truck drivers to be aware of the dangers of a blind spot.
“Furthermore, truck drivers can have their vehicle's mirrors correctly adjusted at more than 20 mirror adjustment stations,” Peeters said.
“Additionally, starting this year, Europe is also requiring new trucks to be equipped with a system that warns against the blind spot. We are also investing more than ever in safe bicycle infrastructure and the elimination of danger points where we give priority to conflict-free and smart light control.”