Truck Side Guards
Research has shown that the potential of a cyclist to fall under the wheels of a commercial vehicle are greatest when the cyclist is positioned along the passenger side of a truck. Many cyclist injuries and fatalities have occurred where the cyclist has attempted to overtake a right-turning vehicle, or where the driver fails to check their mirrors, and as a result the cyclist is not detected.
As a result, many jurisdictions globally have enacted laws that require commercial vehicle operators to install physical guards along the sides of the trucks, to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from falling under the wheels during a collision. These barriers, commonly referred to as "side guards" are designed to enclose the gaps in front of and between the wheels of a trailer, mixer or dump body of a commercial vehicle. In 2012, the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario released its "Cycling Death Review", within which it recommended "mandatory side guards for heavy trucks". Despite this recommendation, most provinces in Canada have not adopted such a requirement. A copy of this report is available at
In light of this information, Lafarge Canada Inc. has decided to take a leadership position on this issue, and has committed to voluntarily install truck side guards on all of its owned commercial vehicles.
Through our partnership with Innocon Inc., we have designed the "Guardian", an under-run protection system to be installed on all ready-mix concrete trucks, to prevent cyclists from falling under the wheels of the vehicle in the event of a collision. The system consists of a rigid nylon panel that is installed between the rear dual drive-axles, along with a protective barrier that runs from the second steer axle and first drive axle, located beneath the mixer drum, again to prevent individuals from falling under the truck. An image of this design is provided below.
This innovation was featured by CBC News Toronto in a news segment that originally aired on May 1, 2015. You may access this video at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/trucks-fitted-with-new-guard-could-save-cyclists-lives-1.3057155.
Despite the advent of truck side guards, these devices do not absolve drivers of their responsibility to ensure that cyclists are not positioned alongside their vehicle before they attempt a right-hand turn, by checking their mirrors frequently, and signaling their turn in advance of the intersection. Similarly, use of truck side guards do not lessen the importance that cyclists do not ride along the passenger side of a commercial vehicle, and must never attempt to overtake a commercial vehicle intending to make a right-hand turn.
Read our Sharing the Road Guide here: