Number of serious accidents involving trucks falling, but more needs to be done to improve safety, report finds

The number of serious road accidents involving trucks is falling, but the safety of vulnerable road users needs to be improved, a report has found.

Volvo Trucks’ 2017 Traffic Safety Report reports that about 35% of people suffering serious injuries or fatalities in accidents involving heavy trucks are vulnerable road users. With the increasing pace of urbanisation and more people and vehicles on the roads, there is a risk that injuries will increase unless action is taken.

The report is based on Volvo’s own accident investigations and data from various national and European authorities. One of its 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,” said Carl-Johan Almqvist, traffic and product safety director at Volvo Trucks.

“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.

“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.”

Worryingly, Volvo Trucks’ report also found that some drivers are not using their seatbelts. “The report also reveals that far too many truck drivers still don´t use their seatbelts 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 seatbelts,” said Almqvist.

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

About Dan Parton

Dan Parton is editor of Truck & Driver.

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