Diesel In­dus­try News

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The num­ber of se­ri­ous road ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing trucks is drop­ping, but the safety of vul­ner­a­ble road users must be im­proved. And there are still far too few truck driv­ers who use their seat belts. Th­ese are among the find­ings of a new traf­fic safety re­port from Volvo Trucks.

“In the 2017 Volvo Trucks Safety Re­port we an­a­lyse and de­scribe why ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing trucks oc­cur, how they hap­pen, and what should be done to re­duce the risk of ac­ci­dents and their con­se­quences. Th­ese are facts that are not only im­por­tant to our own prod­uct de­vel­op­ment but also to ev­ery­one who works for a safer traf­fic en­vi­ron­ment,” says Pe­ter Wells, head of the Volvo Trucks Ac­ci­dent Re­search Team.

The 2017 Volvo Trucks Safety Re­port is based on Volvo’s own ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tions and on data from var­i­ous na­tional and Euro­pean author­i­ties. One of the re­port’s con­clu­sions is that there is a greater need to fo­cus on re­duc­ing risks for vul­ner­a­ble road users such as pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists, moped rid­ers and mo­tor­cy­clists.

“In the past decade the num­ber of se­ri­ous road ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing heavy trucks has been al­most halved in Europe. How­ever, truck ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing vul­ner­a­ble road users have not been re­duced to the same ex­tent,” says Carl Jo­han Almqvist, Traf­fic & Prod­uct Safety Di­rec­tor at Volvo Trucks.

About 35 per­cent of peo­ple suf­fer­ing se­ri­ous in­juries or fa­tal­i­ties in ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing heavy trucks are vul­ner­a­ble road users. With the in­creas­ing pace of ur­ban­i­sa­tion and with more peo­ple and ve­hi­cles on the roads, there is a risk that in­juries will in­crease un­less se­ri­ous ac­tion is taken.

“In or­der to cut ac­ci­dent rates it is nec­es­sary to con­tinue the de­vel­op­ment of a num­ber of tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions that can help the truck driver avoid po­ten­tially hazardous sit­u­a­tions. More­over, all road users need to be­come more aware of the risks that ex­ist in the traf­fic en­vi­ron­ment and how we can best re­duce them,” ex­plains Carl Jo­han Almqvist.

Giv­ing the driver a clear over­view of the truck’s im­me­di­ate vicin­ity is cru­cial to ac­ci­dent pre­ven­tion. As one of many com­ple­ments to rearview mir­rors, close-quar­ter mir­rors and re­vers­ing cam­eras, Volvo has a so­lu­tion whereby the driver can see what is hap­pen­ing in the front corner of the pas­sen­ger side with the help of a cam­era.

“It is also im­por­tant for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists to be aware of the im­por­tance to see and be seen and to as­sist in smooth, safe in­ter­ac­tion in traf­fic. That’s why we are di­rect­ing our ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial to both young­sters and adults, for in­stance our ‘Stop, Look, Wave and See and Be Seen’ cam­paigns, which spot­light pre­cisely th­ese is­sues,” says Carl Jo­han Almqvist.

In or­der to re­duce the risk of ac­ci­dents with other ve­hi­cles, Volvo’s trucks are equipped with var­i­ous ac­tive safety sys­tems. But if an ac­ci­dent does oc­cur, it is a tried and trusted part of the safety equip­ment that is the most im­por­tant life-saver – the seat belt.

“The re­port re­veals that far too many truck driv­ers don´t use their seat belts even though we know that half of the un­belted truck driv­ers who have died in road ac­ci­dents would have sur­vived, had they been wear­ing their seat belts,” says Carl Jo­han Almqvist.

The 2017 Volvo Trucks Safety Re­port is the sec­ond ex­ter­nally pub­lished re­port from Volvo Trucks’ Ac­ci­dent Re­search Team.

“Cut­ting road ac­ci­dents is an im­mensely im­por­tant global is­sue. That’s why we want to share our re­search re­sults in a clear and easy to un­der­stand way,” says Pe­ter Wells.

The 2017 Volvo Trucks Safety Re­port can be found in its en­tirety at volvotrucks.com

Cam­era shows what’s hap­pen­ing in truck driver’s blind spot.

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