The World Health Organisation, WHO, predicts that road traffic fatalities will increase on average by over 80 per cent in low-income and middle-income countries between 1990 and 2020. However, of all the accidents on roads, heavy vehicles are involved in relatively few in comparison with the number of such vehicles on the road. Nevertheless, when an accident does occur the consequences are often severe. It is usually other road users who suffer most in a collision with a truck. Within the EU, for instance, trucks are involved in about 10,000 fatal accidents every year.
The top priority for us at Volvo Trucks is to prevent accidents from occurring and to minimise possible injuries by building trucks with maximum safety and protection of the driver and passenger. Since safety also involves other road-users, our product safety programme is designed to encompass them as well.
Volvo Trucks leads the development of safe trucks, with comprehensive equipment for both accident-preventive and injury-reducing safety. An example of equipment currently available and which we are working on for the future is FUPS - Front Underrun Protection System. It significantly reduces the risk of a car becoming wedged under the front of a truck in a head-on collision. Today, Volvo Trucks is the only manufacturer to offer an integrated energy-absorbing underrun protection system as standard. Another preventative measure is fitting all Volvo trucks with seat belts and a seat belt reminder. Red belts are also available, making it clear to everyone else that the driver is using the seat belt.