1981-10-01

Results of an Analysis of Truck Accidents and Possibilities of Reducing Their Consequences Discussed on the Basis of Car-to-Truck Crash Tests 811027

Possibilities of improved truck safety regarding to frontal collisions with passenger cars are discussed. Characteristics of car/truck collisions are analysed in a study of 1,559 real accidents. Almost 40% of the fatalities in car/truck collisions result from front-to-front collisions. It turned out that the inevitably high mass of the truck does not constitute the only dominant problem in the majority of real-life accidents. Another major factor is the form aggressivity of the truck front which may be reduced by technical measures.
Based on these results a series of 10 car-to-truck crash tests was carried out analysing two collision types:
  • - truck running frontally into car front, vrel = 60 kph
  • - truck running frontally into car side, vc = 39 kph.
The tests were made both with an unchanged truck and with safety modifications, using a large impact plate and an energy absorbing front protection. The large “impact plate” did not produce any appreciable safety effect in the chosen test conditions. However, as a result of slightly reduced car intrusion an effect cannot be ruled out in the lower speed range.
The frontal protection with energy-absorbing construction and mobile design did result in improvements especially by reducing the override of the car by the truck. Quantifying this effect must be reserved for the subsequent series of tests, which should reveal an order of priority on the basis of benefit/cost analyses.
The study showed that safety measures of the truck front are extremely difficult - as they may influence the practical requirements such as bumper clearance angle, length, weight etc. - but solutions are necessary and possible. This study aimed to work out a proposal of principle safety measures. It is discussed in which terms safety measures on trucks may be described. The requirements of further research work are indicated.

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