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.”
Lower speed limits? We are already forced to drive around Brussels in 2nd gear, which of course is wonderful for reducing pollution levels. Not. Reduce speed to what? It would be better if driving courses taught people how to anticipate when they are behind the wheel. Drivers here tend to react (too) late, if they react at all.
If they reduce speed limits any further I may move to another country!! I already feel like I could go faster on a tricycle in the many 30 km per hour zones. And the fines for exceeding the limit are excessive. I fully agree with the point of view of the previous comment.
Maybe a better solution would be that Belgium finally recognises that the rest of Europe has something called a ‘priority way’ which also means that larger roads (avenues, main road vs. smaller driveways or field roads, etc.) or roundabouts have a priority over the right-of-way driving. The right-of-way should only be applicable when you find yourself entering the intersection where all the roads have the same ‘right’, or otherwise, when there is no ‘priority way’ present. That way many tourists, occasional visitors and expats wouldn’t end up in a car accident with local drivers, both of who are now unaware that they are following different rules when driving.