I just came across a link from Twitter user @mikelikesbikes—posted in response to yesterday’s cycling death at Augusta and Ashland—on what cyclists should do (and not do) around trucks. The article, from Commute Orlando, is titled “What Cyclists Need to Know About Trucks”, and the image alone is informative enough to make it worth passing on; I had no idea what a truck driver’s blind spot looks like. The thing about this is that a cyclist stopped in the bike lane at a red light, doing exactly what seems to be the safest and most legal thing, is also in the best position to get hit by a truck driver who doesn’t know he’s there. Most experienced cyclists know to look out for right-turning cars and position themselves either in front of or behind those cars at lights to avoid what’s often known as the “right hook,” but I don’t think most people realize just how big a trucker’s blind spot is.
So, just to summarize (though the article is worth reading, and not very long): stay away from the right side of trucks if at all possible, and don’t assume a driver who’s just pulled up to a light that you’re stopped at has seen you. If that happens, I think it might be safer to try to go through the red light, as long as there’s no traffic coming, than stay where you are. Sometimes an illegal move is safer than a legal one. (This is my own opinion, not advice from the Commute Orlando piece.)