Standing together

It’s not enough for us to make our trucks safer. We need to help make the world’s roads safer.

We’re working with politicians, public authorities and other vehicle manufacturers to improve road, vehicle and driver safety.

We’re also sharing everything we have. And have offered our knowledge and experience to universities, research laboratories and partner organisations.

Whenever traffic safety is discussed, we participate. This helps us learn more about the issues, the potential solutions and how to design the trucks of the future.

There’s only one acceptable number

The aviation industry operates a zero accident policy. And it’s this approach – that no accident is ever acceptable – that we’re applying to road safety.

Using data from our accident research teams, we’ve identified four key areas that’ll help us achieve our vision: seat belts, inattention, alcohol and speed.

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Seat belts

We invented the three-point seat belt in 1959. And gave the patent to the world. It’s saved millions of lives. And will save millions more.

A study conducted by the Swedish Transport Administration showed that of the 20 unrestrained truck drivers killed in Sweden between 2005 and 2009, 19 would have survived if they had been using their seat belts.

Seat belts save drivers’ lives. Unfortunately, only 50% of drivers use them today. So we’re doing everything we can to encourage drivers to use their seatbelt.

Inattention

Tired and distracted drivers are a danger to themselves and others. And tiredness is by far the most common cause of accidents involving trucks.

To better understand the relationship between the driver and the truck, we’re running a stream of research projects. In one, 30 Volvo trucks are fitted with experimental technology and five cameras that register every aspect of every journey. The aim is to study, in detail, the situations that lead to accidents. And to verify that the truck’s safety systems function as intended.

Alcohol

Alcohol is involved in one third of all fatal road accidents. The available data shows that professional drivers account for a small proportion of drunk drivers on the road. Since accidents involving heavy vehicles can be catastrophic, every drunk driver is one too many.

We were the first truck manufacturer to factory-fit alcolocks in trucks. And we’ve offered ferry operators transporting trucks to and from Sweden free breathalyser equipment on board their vessels.

We also participate in various pan-European information projects such as the European Transport Safety Council’s ‘Safe & Sober’ campaign.

Speed

Increasing your speed from 80 to 90 km/h on a 100-kilometer journey will save you eight minutes. It’ll also increase your braking distance by 20%.

A number of studies indicate that keeping a steady lower speed will save you time and money – as speed fluctuations increase fuel consumption. A steady lower speed also reduces the risk accidents – preventing personal injury and expensive repairs.

Training makes drivers more safety-conscious. Well-trained drivers also experience less stress, which dramatically reduces the risk of accidents.

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Tomorrow’s trucks

To avoid accidents completely, vehicles will communicate with one another, and the surrounding environment, at lightning speed. By talking to each other, the vehicles can react to a situation if the driver doesn’t.

This type of technology requires an open and constructive collaboration between vehicle manufacturers and society at large. And agreement on a standardised ‘language’ that vehicles and infrastructure can use.

We’re working with others to develop these highly intelligent systems. Our primary task is to make the technology accessible, to ensure it’s easy to use, and to make the world’s roads safer for our drivers and other road users.