One cyclist will never know how grateful they should be to an innovative Volvo safety feature, says motoring editor Andy Russell.
I nearly wiped out a cyclist last week and it was one of the most frightening driving experiences in nearly 40 years of motoring.
It would not have been my fault, but that would not have made me feel any better about it had the worst happened.
And I suspect that had I not been driving a Volvo it might not have had such a happy ending.
It was the morning rush hour and I was approaching a T-junction. There was a car waiting to turn right at the splayed junction but it was not a problem as I was indicating to turn left and there was room to go up the nearside of the other vehicle.
With nothing coming from my right I was just starting to pull out of the junction when a flashing orange light on the nearside front passenger door near the exterior mirror grabbed my attention.
Looking in the mirror I was astounded to see a cyclist, with no helmet or hi-vis clothing, coming up the inside to also turn left. Even though I had already started to move forward they continued to undertake me and then move into the middle of the lane in front of me having made the turn.
Fortunately for them, and me, this Volvo had the optional driver support pack which includes Volvo’s blind spot information system (BLIS) which uses cameras and radar to watch for vehicles, cycles or pedestrians to the rear of the Volvo who might be hidden from the driver. When something is detected, a warning lamp comes on close to the nearside or offside door mirror, giving the driver time to react.
It made me realise Volvo’s safety features are not just designed to save those inside the car but can be a life-saver for other road-users too.