“PRAISE”: Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees. How can In-vehicle Safety Equipment improve road safety at work?

  • Published: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), 2009
  • Authors: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)
  • Date Added: 24 Jun 2013
  • Last Update: 24 Jun 2013
  • Format: pdf

Objectives:

The project aims to advance work-related Road Safety Management and provide the know-how to employers who have to take on that challenge. This first thematic report aims to present how in-vehicle safety equipment can improve and manage work related road safety. This report addresses all employers managing all types of vehicle from public authorities, vehicle leasing suppliers, small two car delivery companies to large international companies and also vehicle manufacturers.

Methodology:

Summary of technologies available.

Key Findings:

  • RTI most often have financial implications on a business that stretch well beyond reported costs.

  • In-vehicle technologies can make a lifesaving contribution to improving road safety at work.

  • There is a well-documented relationship between speed and RTIs resulting in death and injury with lasting effect. The adaptation of driving speed to the prevailing conditions and speed limits is a primary way of controlling the RTI risk of the driver.

  • A supportive Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) system works in the form of increasing the upward pressure on the pedal or cancelling a driver’s throttle demand if it demands more throttle than is required to drive at the speed limit.

  • Swedish large-scale study of the effect of informative and supportive ISA, involving nearly 4,500 vehicles, shows that if everyone had informative ISA fitted, injury RTIs could be reduced by 20 per cent in urban areas. Supportive systems have even greater potential to reduce fatal and serious RTIs.

  • Estimates by Carsten (2008) show that a mandatory supportive ISA scheme could lead to a reduction of 36 per cent in road traffic (injury) RTIs and 59 per cent in fatal RTIs. There would also be benefits in terms of lower fuel consumption (up to 8 per cent) and more effective road traffic enforcement.

  • ESC acts on the braking or power systems of a vehicle to assist the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle in a critical situation (caused, for example, by poor road conditions or excessive speed during cornering).

  • As well as saving casualties, the widespread use of ESC in vehicles could significantly reduce the traffic congestion caused by RTIs involving large vehicles.

  • Emergency Braking is already present in some vehicles. This will be extended to all large vehicles in 2013. The aim of Emergency Braking is to avoid RTIs fully automatically or to mitigate them. The system reacts if a vehicle approaches another leading vehicle or obstacle. The system reacts in three steps:

    • Optical and acoustic warning, if the approaching obstacle could lead to an RTI.

    • Autonomous partial braking, if the distance is reduced further.

    • Autonomous full braking, if an RTI appears inevitable. Input is the distance and the relative speed to a leading vehicle.

  • Emergency braking has an estimated death reduction of 7 per cent on the EU 25 scale with full penetration, and one of the highest benefit-cost ratios there is for driver support systems. The eSafety Forum included it as one of the priority systems in 2008.

  • One major downside of such technologies is the so-called risk compensation effect. There is evidence to suggest that such an effect can be linked to the use of safety features in vehicles. This is particularly compelling for the case of antilock braking systems (ABS). There have been experiments asserting that drivers adapt to the safety benefit of ABS by driving more aggressively, and there is empirical evidence that RTIs occurred after the introduction of ABS because of people testing the system’s thresholds.

  • Employers should make every effort to apply technologies but also train staff on their use and monitor their implementation.

Themes:

Road safety at work, ISA, ESC, Emergency Braking.

Comments:

Provides a useful summary for some of the systems of interest.

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