The road freight industry faces a number of challenges relating to public perceptions of trucks and road safety. Anti-truck campaigns frequently cite the fact that trucks are disproportionately involved in road traffic accidents. In fact there is limited data on the incidence of accidents involving trucks, which prompted research by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in conjunction with the European Commission.
Based on a survey of 624 accidents involving trucks, the data showed that human error is the cause of 85.2 per cent of accidents, and of those accidents only 25 per cent were caused by the truck driver. Other factors, including weather conditions (4.4 per cent), infrastructure conditions (5.1 per cent) and technical failures of the vehicle (5.3 per cent) played a less significant role. IRU’s research shows that the three most common causes of truck accidents are non-adapted speed, failure to observe intersection rules and improper manoeuvre when changing lanes. While the industry should not be complacent about the level of accidents involving trucks, nor about the impact that any accident has on the perception of trucks’ safety, it should recognise the progress that has been made. While the volume of journeys has grown by 15 per cent since 2000, the number of truck accidents involving fatalities fell by 60 per cent. A number of technological advances should support this ongoing trend – electronic stability control, lane departure warning systems, automated braking systems, and requirements for new cabin strengths.
Goodyear will continue to research, develop and innovate the tyres it manufacturers to support the industry in its push for safer road transport. The Goodyear KMax, FuelMax and Air Maintenance Technology are some current examples of the work we are doing in this area.
For further information on Goodyear products please visit www.goodyear.co.uk/truck