Exploring European Heavy Goods Vehicle Crashes Using a Three-Level Analysis of Crash Data
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2022

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are involved in 4.5% of police-reported road crashes in Europe and 14.2% of fatal road crashes. Active and passive safety systems can help to prevent crashes or mitigate the consequences but need detailed scenarios based on analysis of region-specific data to be designed effectively; however, a sufficiently detailed overview focusing on long-haul trucks is not available for Europe. The aim of this paper is to give a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of crashes in the European Union that involve HGVs weighing 16 tons or more (16 t+). The identification of the most critical scenarios and their characteristics is based on a three-level analysis, as follows. Crash statistics based on data from the Community Database on Accidents on the Roads in Europe (CARE) provide a general overview of crashes involving HGVs. These results are complemented by a more detailed characterization of crashes involving 16 t+ trucks based on national road crash data from Italy, Spain, and Sweden. This analysis is further refined by a detailed study of crashes involving 16 t+ trucks in the German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS), including a crash causation analysis. The results show that most European HGV crashes occur in clear weather, during daylight, on dry roads, outside city limits, and on nonhighway roads. Three main scenarios for 16 t+ trucks are characterized in-depth: rear-end crashes in which the truck is the striking partner, conflicts during right turn maneuvers of the truck with a cyclist riding alongside, and pedestrians crossing the road in front of the truck. Among truck-related crash causes, information admission failures (e.g., distraction) were the main crash causation factor in 72% of cases in the rear-end striking scenario while information access problems (e.g., blind spots) were present for 72% of cases in the cyclist scenario and 75% of cases in the pedestrian scenario. The three levels of data analysis used in this paper give a deeper understanding of European HGV crashes, in terms of the most common crash characteristics on EU level and very detailed descriptions of both kinematic parameters and crash causation factors for the above scenarios. The results thereby provide both a global overview and sufficient depth of analysis of the most relevant cases and aid safety system development.

European national crash data

Crash causation

Crash scenarios



Long-haul truck


Ron Schindler

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Fordonssäkerhet

Michael Jänsch

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH)

András Bálint

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Fordonssäkerhet

Heiko Johannsen

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH)

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

1661-7827 (ISSN) 1660-4601 (eISSN)

Vol. 19 2 663

Aerodynamic and Flexible Trucks for Next Generation of Long Distance Road Transport (AEROFLEX)

Europeiska kommissionen (EU) (EC/H2020/769658), 2017-10-01 -- 2021-03-01.









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