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Truck hits pedestrian with rollator

May 2021

Examples of accidents & crash tests

Confusing infrastructure

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Sequence of events:
The driver of a truck-trailer combination was approaching a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights in a built-up area. About 50 meters before this pedestrian crossing, on the truck driver’s side of the road, was a sleeping traffic light designed to help with the flow of traffic. The driver stopped before reaching this light. When setting off again, the driver did not notice an 80-year-old pedestrian with a rollator who approached from his right and started to cross the road approximately 2.7 to 4 meters in front of the truck. The truck hit the pedestrian and ran him over with the front left wheel.

Persons involved in the accident:
Pedestrian with rollator and truck driver

Consequences/injuries:
The pedestrian was fatally injured.

Cause/problem:
The sleeping traffic light is positioned about 50 meters ahead of the pedestrian crossing, and activates frequently to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road. These users also use the space between the sleeping traffic light and the crossing itself to cross the road. This action is encouraged by the fact that this is the direct route between the train station and the bus stop. Even though he was crossing incorrectly, the pedestrian should have been visible to the driver if the driver had been looking properly.

Avoidance measures, mitigation of consequences/ strategy for road safety measures:
When installing crossing aids for pedestrians, care must be taken to ensure that these allow pedestrians to follow their most logical route as directly as possible. Diversions are generally avoided because they make life harder, especially for people who have difficulty walking. If the prevailing conditions at the site in question do not allow for the construction of a direct route, safety measures such as railings must be considered. Before crossing the road, people who have difficulty walking should take particular care to ensure that other road users have seen them.

The accident would have been avoidable for the truck driver if he had been paying the requisite attention to the road when setting off from the traffic light.

Following the accident, the police set into motion concrete plans for a safer redesign of the crossing.

Examples of Accidents

A Best-Practice Example of Changes in Road Design

In road safety work, as in many other fields, it is important to learn from accidents, recognize key areas of risk, and implement improvements. One good example of this is the response to a fatal accident involving a truck and a pedestrian with a rollator, which is described in accident example of this report.

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