Truck accidents across the western world have similar causes

We regularly discuss critical safety issues that affect the American trucking industry and American motorists by extension. According to a newly released report out of Europe, many of the exact same safety concerns that our society struggles with each day plague other western nations as well.

Volvo Trucks’ Accident Research Team recently released its annual report related to European truck accidents and safety issues. In the report, researchers conclude that 90 percent of truck accidents in Europe involve “the human factor.” The human factor refers to human error and negligent human behavior or conditions including truck driver fatigue.

The Volvo Trucks report is the result of research and data analysis from internal, national and European vehicle safety authorities. It suggests that human factors, rather than mechanical inadequacy, are the single most critical set of issues affecting trucking and motorist safety in Europe and throughout the industrialized west.

Of these human factors, fatigue, distraction, speed miscalculation and aggression are all prevalent as well as preventable. Interestingly, drunk driving does not plague commercial truck drivers nearly to the extent that it does passenger motorists. Nevertheless, many preventable human behaviors and conditions continue to dominate trucking accident rates.

It is worth noting that in Europe, as well as in the United States, truck drivers are most at risk for single-vehicle accidents. In these scenarios, trucks veer off the road or crash into stationary property that does not endanger the lives of fellow motorists. However, truck accident prevention should be considered a top priority even when truckers’ poor decisions only hurt themselves.

The Volvo Trucks’ study underscores an important point: human factors are central to truck accident rates. If we work to correct these behaviors and conditions, an untold number of lives can be saved through these preventative efforts.

Source:, “Report blames fatigue and inattentiveness for truck accidents,” Feb. 5, 2013