The Volvo Group has long had a social perspective that is linked to the company’s legacy and values relating to safety and the environment. The zero-accident vision is the overarching goal that governs all the work. Our basic philosophy is that accidents can be prevented. That’s the position we have taken and we believe in it. At the same time, we are aware that many things are outside of our control. That’s why it’s important that we collaborate with other players.
The key to success is exchanging knowledge and experience globally in order to speed up developments. It isn’t enough for the Volvo Group to develop technical systems that help drivers avoid accidents. Many different players in society have to take joint action. It doesn’t matter how effective and safe the technology we deliver is, we can’t reduce the number of fatalities in traffic on our own.
The Volvo Group’s partners in this effort to increase traffic safety include research institutes, authorities, politicians, international organisations, and partners within technology development. Together with transport companies, we’re working on driver training and implementing important transport policies, such as rest times and load security. At the end of the day, it’s the politicians who draw up legislation, set technical requirements and decide how the infrastructure is going to be developed. But everything is connected and that’s why we have to focus on every dimension.
The UN’s target of halving traffic fatalities is reasonable, but achieving it by 2020 was not realistic. I do believe though that the international community actually knows which measures are needed to create safer roads. The problem is mobilizing all the players that are needed and finding cost-effective measures that can realistically be implemented. The largest number of traffic accidents take place in countries that lack the resources to invest in improvement programs.
In spite of this I can see changes that are pointing in the right direction. If we look ahead, I can see positive developments in China and India, for example. These countries have experienced fast economic growth and a large number of road fatalities, but they are now starting to invest in reversing this trend. Traffic safety is the basis of an efficient, sustainable transport system. That, in turn, is an important engine for driving development and prosperity.
Safety Director, Volvo Group
September 25, 2019