Better Protection for All Road Users

Jun 2018

Vehicle Technology

Whether in rural areas, on rural roads or out on the highway, around 90 percent of all road accidents involving goods transport vehicles can be attributed to human error. This is where driver assistance systems and automated driving functions offer huge potential for enhancing safety by either eliminating or mitigating the consequences of human error. Commercial vehicle experts from a wide range of institutions expect platooning – highly automated driving in a digitally networked convoy – to offer major potential for preventing accidents.

According to the German Federal Statistical Office, a total of 32,352 goods transport vehicle drivers were involved in traffic accidents resulting in personal injury in Germany in 2016 (this is also addressed in the “Accidents” section). Accidents in flowing traffic (15,021) accounted for almost half of these, while ‘turning-into/crossing’ accidents took second place with 5,376 casualties. Of particular note here is that, of the total number of people involved (over 32,000), more than 15,400 of them were involved in accidents involving a van with a permissible overall weight of up to 3.5 tons. Trucks weighing over 3.5 metric tons accounted for almost 8,100 persons involved and semi-trailer tractors accounted for around 7,600. Almost 49 percent of the drivers were involved in accidents in urban areas, more than 27 percent were involved in accidents on rural roads and nearly 25 percent were involved in accidents on highways.

In urban areas, rear-end collisions and collisions at intersections dominated (together over 50 percent). On rural roads, rear-end collisions and collisions with oncoming vehicles constituted almost 50 percent combined. On highways, rear-end collisions were the most common with over 50 percent. As the German Federal Statistical Office also reports, almost 60 percent of all goods transport vehicle drivers involved in accidents were considered to be the main cause of accidents resulting in personal injury. Among light-duty truck drivers, almost 65 percent were the main cause of the accident; among articulated truck drivers, around 50 percent were the main cause of the accident. In comparison, approximately 55 percent of car drivers were considered the main cause of the accident.

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