Volvo Group's safety knowledge to reduce traffic accidents in humanitarian aid transports

The Volvo Group is initiating cooperation with 40 humanitarian aid organizations worldwide to increase awareness of traffic safety issues and reduce the number of accidents in humanitarian aid transports. Among other actions, the Volvo Group's own accident research team will contribute with analyses.
Volvo has signed a declaration of intent covering cooperation in the area of road safety with Fleet Forum, a voluntary association of about 40 humanitarian aid organizations worldwide. In accordance with the declaration of intent, Volvo will assist the organizations in analyzing traffic accidents and recommend measures to increase general road safety awareness of traffic safety issues and to reduce the number of accidents.

The humanitarian aid organizations will receive customized data sheets, with the aim to facilitate the reporting of traffic accidents. The collection of data will begin in mid-2006, and the first report will be presented in 2007. The Volvo Group's own accident research team will analyze the causes of the accidents and present recommendations for measures to reduce the number of accidents and their consequences. The project will continue until 2009, and a total of three reports will be presented.

Volvo has conducted its own accident research since 1969, a program that is now an integrated part of the Group's product development. In conjunction with a traffic accident involving a heavy vehicle, representatives of the accident research team are sent out to investigate the cause and site of the accident. The information collected is analyzed and experience from the accident investigation board's work is then used in product development.

Based on the accident research team's work, Volvo Group has developed several different automotive systems through the years to reduce the risk of accidents and their consequences. Some examples include ESP (Electronic Stability Program), which reduces the risk of skidding on slippery roads and rollovers in sharp curves, as well as ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control), which automatically adapts a vehicle's speed to slow-moving vehicles in front. Three decades of accident research have also shown that seatbelts are still the single most effective measure to reduce the risk of injuries for the driver in an accident.

The Fleet Forum, based in Geneva, is a joint initiative by the WFP (UN World Food Program), IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross) and World Vision International and represents more than 40 humanitarian aid organizations. The organizations that comprise the Fleet Forum run a combined fleet of more than 60,000 vehicles and have annual operating costs of about USD 800 M. The Fleet Forum's goal is to increase its humanitarian transport capacity through development and utilization of uniform work methods for vehicle fleet management and operation.

May 17, 2006

For further information, please contact Mårten Wikforss, +46 31 66 11 27 or +46 705 59 11 49