“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 per cent 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 rear-view 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.