Van swerves off road

Jun 2018

Examples of accidents & crash tests

Sequence of events:
At the end of a long left-hand curve on a highway, a van driver swerved off the road to the left. The driver then went through a grass strip for approximately 120 meters. According to the marks, the driver applied the brakes only partially, not fully. No counter- steering movements were made either. The vehicle followed the course of the grass strip until reaching an embankment; the vehicle traveled down the embankment and grazed a tree before colliding head-on with another tree. The road surface was dry at the time of the accident.

Vehicles:
Van

Consequences/injuries:
Two occupants suffered serious injuries.

Cause/problem:
The vehicle was in good working order. The steering and braking systems were functional. The maximum permissible speed at the site of the accident was 100 km/h. At the verified driving speed of maximum 86 km/h, the road at this point would not have presented any problems. The accident therefore has no technical cause, but occurred because the driver did not steer the vehicle to follow the straight stretch of road at the end of the curve.

Avoidance measures, mitigation of consequences/ strategy for road safety measures:
Swerving off the road could have been avoided had the van driver been attentive and focused. Instead of just applying the brakes partially, it would have been sensible to apply the brakes fully after leaving the road. Swerving from the lane could have been avoided had the van been equipped with a lane assist system or lane departure warning system.

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