Exchanging Places – March 2024

Posted on Wednesday 20th March 2024 in All Road Users, Business, Cyclists, Drivers, Education and Training

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) supported West Sussex County Council, at a cycle safety event on Wednesday 20th of March, 11am-3pm, at South Street Square, Worthing. ‘Exchanging Places’ engagements aim to address the most common cause of serious injury and death to cyclists – collisions involving HGVs. A West Sussex County Council cycle instructor was present alongside SSRPs Programme Team, providing face to face road safety messaging and support.

Exchanging Places gives cyclists the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of a HGV to see how difficult it can be to see a cyclist riding close to a lorry. Experienced road safety practitioners, then explain how this type of collision often happens and the actions cyclists can take to reduce their risk.

Different road user groups really do need to understand one another’s viewpoint. This is both a practical reality and a perfect metaphor. Cyclists need to know how restricted an HGV drivers’ view is from the cab. They also need to understand how pressured and skilful truck driving is, and that the majority of truck drivers want to ensure everyone’s safety. Furthermore, HGV drivers need to know the physical vulnerability of cyclists even from the ‘wind tunnel’ effect of a truck going by. They need to understand how intimidating a vehicle at your back wheel can be, or the problems of cycle lane abruptly disappearing.

Cyclists are less likely to be involved in a collision with a HGV, than a car, but when they are, they are more likely to be killed or seriously injured.

Many different types of large vehicles, including skip lorries, dumper trucks, box vans, concrete mixer trucks, articulated HGVs and so on, share the road with pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists. Although, there are relatively few collisions between large vehicles and these vulnerable road users, when they do occur, they often result in serious or fatal injury.

As with other types of vehicles, technology for HGVs is developing rapidly. The use of cameras and sensors to improve the driver’s field of vision is now commonplace. In addition, collision avoidance technology is being developed and introduced. This uses sensors to detect the presence of a cyclist on the HGV’s nearside and software that predicts the path and speed of the cyclist and the HGV.


Driver education and law enforcement have been shown to be the most effective methods of cutting collision rates across all road user groups. At the core of SSRP is our commitment to education to improve safety on our roads. Engagements like these are an opportunity to directly communicate with a range of road users. SSRP believes that conversation between HGV drivers and cyclists enhance the shared responsibility.

These events are free so if you’re interested, just pop along to any future ones. To keep up to date with SSRPs events and engagements head over to our event listing page, here on the website!

Our album of images taken at our Exchanging Places event is available here on our website over in our gallery!

Check it out👇

Photo Galleries | Sussex Safer Roads Partnership