‘Active’ vehicle safety most effective, new analysis of accident data shows

Brussels, 15 May 2018 – Ahead of the publication of the European Commission’s proposal for new vehicle safety measures later this week, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) calls for a strong focus on active safety technologies, which can prevent accidents from happening.

Over the past decades, passive safety systems – like pre-tensioned seatbelts, airbags and energy-absorbing crumple zones – have made a major contribution to road safety by limiting the consequences of accidents. Now, active safety measures – like autonomous emergency braking systems or lane departure warning – offer the potential to avoid emergency situations altogether, or actively help the driver to manage them properly without having an accident.

To assess the potential, a detailed analysis of road accident statistics was carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and Centre Européen d’Etudes de Sécurité et d’Analyse des Risques (CEESAR).

Regarding vision-related accidents with trucks for instance, the TRL/CEESAR analysis shows that active safety measures – using cameras and sensors to increase the driver’s field of vision and to draw attention to the critical area – are some 50% more effective in reducing fatalities than re-designing trucks with low-entry cabs.

Another downside of low-entry cabs is their negative impact on the load capacity of trucks, as they require major changes to the layout of a vehicle. The less transport space a truck has, the more vehicles are needed to transport the same amount of freight, which in turn would lead to an increase in CO2 emissions.

“ACEA welcomes the upcoming revision of the General Safety Regulation,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “We believe that it should concentrate on safety measures that deliver the most tangible results, while also being the most cost-effective.”

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Notes for editors

About ACEA

  • ACEA represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information can be found on www.acea.be or @ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.be, +32 2 738 73 45 or +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.6 million people - or 5.7% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3.3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent almost 11% of EU manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for some €413 billion in tax contributions in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with more than €50 billion invested annually.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of about €90 billion for the EU.