Why is this happening? The overall aim is to save lives. The EU estimates its new vehicle regulations will save more than 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038.
One key target is to reduce the number of accidents between trucks and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. And two of the proposed new active features for trucks – the new detector and alert system for vulnerable road users and the new direct vision standard for trucks – are both aimed at protecting vulnerable road users.
The direct vision standards, which will be phased in starting in 2025, includes specific requirements to improve how much drivers can see from the cab and to remove blind spots. Better direct vision from the cab has been shown to cut accident rates and driver reaction times. The new direct vision standard is directly inspired by a similar scheme in London, in which trucks are rated based on direct vision from the cab. In London, only trucks that meet a set standard will be allowed on city streets.
The EU’s long-term goal is to reach zero fatalities and serious injuries, known as ‘Vision Zero’ on European roads by 2050.
Will it work? Eliminating every single accident is naturally very difficult, but at Volvo Trucks, we see zero accidents, or “Vision Zero”, as a mindset. Our philosophy is that all accidents are essentially avoidable. Since we know that human error contributes to 90% of accidents, active safety systems that support drivers to reduce the number of accidents caused by human error are key to reaching that goal.
But whatever the final EU requirements, it’s important to recognize that the most important safety system is the driver. While active safety features are essential, they don’t take away from how important an alert and well-trained driver is to preventing accidents.
In order to help you prepare for the new EU General Safety Regulation which is set to include more than ten mandatory new active safety features in European trucks, I have prepared a short guide to the EU legislation and why it is being implemented. The illustrated guide will help you:
Anna Wrige Berling
Anna Wrige Berling works as Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks.