GOTHENBURG, Sweden — The number of serious road accidents involving trucks is dropping, but there are still too many drivers who drive without a seat belt.
That’s according to Volvo Truck’s 2017 Safety Report which 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,” said Carl Johan Almqvist, traffic and product safety director at Volvo Trucks.
About 35% of people suffering serious injuries or fatalities in accidents involving heavy trucks are vulnerable road users, the report reads. 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, according to the data.
“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,” explained Almqvist. “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.”
In order to reduce the risk of accidents with other vehicles, Volvo’s trucks are equipped with various active safety systems. Volvo said the report also showed that far too few drivers are wearing seat belts.
“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,” Almqvist said.
The 2017 Volvo Trucks Safety Report can be found in its entirety at volvotrucks.com