Over the past decades, the number of fatal accidents involving heavy trucks has significantly decreased. However, they still make up around 15% of all traffic deaths in EU. The Volvo Trucks Accident Research Team (ART) has deep knowledge about which accidents are most common and why they happen.
Every truck accident has a story to tell about what happened the seconds before and after the incident. A story that can hold the insight to how the accident could have been avoided or prevented. When putting the insights together – it is possible to draw conclusions.
But that is just one part of the Accident Research Team´s job. Many of the insights are found when collecting and analysing national accident statistics and deep diving into the accident data, to find those hard-to-find correlations. This helps Volvo Trucks to develop technology and collaborate with policy makers that eventually make our roads safer, one step at a time.
“Analysis of statistics tells us how common each accident type is, and our own in-depth studies provide the details of how and why they happen”, says Anna Theander, Leader of ART, who together with the team visits crash sites and investigates trucks in the urge to learn more about accidents.
The team has established a system of categorisation called Type Accidents, that gives an overview of the most typical accident scenarios involving heavy trucks, where there are serious or fatal injuries.
“Type Accidents are a good representation of the most frequent accidents affecting heavy truck occupants, car occupants and vulnerable road users, like pedestrians, cyclists, moped or motorcycle riders,” says Anna Theander.
When looking at the whole picture, ART can see that in each of these groups of road users some accidents are more common than others. Two common accidents from each group makes up the following list.
“The details of the investigated accidents provide input for the development teams so that they can make design improvements to reduce the risk of these accidents from happening. For each Type Accident, we can identify what safety features that can mitigate or completely avoid the accident that a specific scenario is describing,” says Anna Theander.
Over the past decades, fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles have significantly decreased, despite the fact that the total number of trucks has increased. But the work is not done. As legislation is introduced to standardise several safety systems on trucks, more accidents can be avoided and the consequences of them minimised. Sharing insights and in-depth knowledge from research will continue to be a big part of Volvo Trucks DNA. The number of accidents needs to be reduced to zero.
“We need to join forces in the industry, and in society in general, to make that happen”, says Anna.
Type A: Accidents causing fatalities or severe injuries to truck occupants.
Type B: Accidents causing fatalities or severe injuries to car occupants.
Type C: Accidents causing fatalities or severe injuries to vulnerable road users like cyclists, pedestrians, motorcycle or moped riders.
Learn more about safety research at Volvo Trucks