Rear-View Cameras for Small Vans
Small vans are an important part of the vehicle fleet and, for some years now, have been responsible for an ever-increasing share of transportation services in Germany and the rest of Europe. The increasingly widespread use of this mode of transport has motivated repeated discussions concerning their road safety. With the aim of objectively analyzing the prevalence of small vans in road traffic accidents, the German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), DEKRA accident researchers, German Insurers Accident Research (UDV) and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) a few years ago launched a research project focusing on the safety of small vans and published a study on this in 2012. The project analyses are based on data provided by the offifificial German road accident statistics, the accident databases of German Insurers Accident Research (UDB) and DEKRA, and the German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS). The project not only analyzed aspects relating to the mitigation of the consequences of accidents in relation to self- and partner protection, but also looked at how accidents occur and how they can be avoided. The findings, on the one hand, delivered answers to questions concerning requirements and specifications and, on the other hand, led to recommendations for activities focusing on, in particular, the field of consumer protection and information in particular. Analysis of all of the accidents recorded in GIDAS revealed that 4.7% were caused by small vans, with four main accident scenarios clearly discernible: rear-end collisions, turning/crossing accidents, driving accidents and accidents during reversing maneuvers. Compared with other vehicle types like cars or trucks, the latter accounted for a much bigger share of accidents (6%). The accident type in which a pedestrian crosses the vehicle’s path at the rear was the most common, both for small vans with and without rear windows. The most common victims of such accidents are the elderly (60 plus). Rear-view camera systems and/or acoustic warning systems could help to remedy the situation.