“Cars are driven by people. The basic principle behind everything we do at Volvo is, and must always be, safety.” These were the words of Volvo’s two founders, Gustaf Larson and Assar Gabrielsson, already in 1927. Since then, safety has been one of Volvo’s core values, which is reflected in the innovations and safe transport solutions developed over the years. A key component of the safety work has always been to inform people of the dangers in traffic, since most accidents are due to the human factor.
Every year, more than 260,000 children under the age of 19 die in traffic accidents. To help reduce this figure, Volvo has focused specific efforts for several years on training children in road safety. In Denmark alone, 86,000 children and young people in schools have had the opportunity to learn more about road sense and how various safety systems function, and in Volvo’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, the Volvo Museum regularly organizes information tours for school classes.
One of the classes to visit the museum was 8C from the Fenestra St Jörgen School. When museum personnel asked them whether they had heard about the aircraft that have disappeared in recent years, the response was a resounding “yes.” When they then turned the question around and wondered whether the children had heard that about 13 aircraft with passengers “disappear” every day, in the form of road deaths worldwide, they were all silent.
“With respect to traffic safety, Volvo has a very important role to play and we have accumulated extensive knowledge over the years. With our safety campaigns for children, we have succeeded in packaging the information in a manner that arouses their interest and feels relevant to them. Sometimes, a few good tips is sufficient to save lives,” says Volvo Group’s Safety Director, Peter Kronberg.
The pupils in class 8C were impressed when they heard that the three-point belt is a Volvo invention and that Volvo chose to make it available to all automotive manufacturers. To demonstrate how the three-point belt works, the pupils had the opportunity to sit in a truck cab, leaning at an angle of 65 degrees, and they all agree that it would have been difficult remaining in their seats without the seat belt.
The pupils also learned about the injuries that can be caused by loose objects. A mobile phone that weighs 100 grams could amount to a relative weight of 150 kilograms – and it will hurt if you get hit in the head.
“I did not know so much about g-force before and that things become much heavier at high speed,” says Alice Andersson, one of the pupils. Classmate Dzan Zubcevic shares his recently gained knowledge: “If a person weighing 100 kilograms and driving at 90 kilometers per hour crashes, it’s almost as though he is as heavy as an elephant.”
When it was time for the pupils from class 8C to return to school, it was with greater understanding of the dangers in traffic and what they must keep in mind to avoid them. At the same time, there are still many more children in the world who need this information.
“Today, the UN Global Safety Week commences, with children and road safety as the theme for this year. Volvo Group wants to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to support the UN in its campaign, not only during Safety Week itself, but also by placing greater focus on the role of children in traffic every day, all year round,” says Peter Kronberg.
The Volvo Group run traffic and site safety programs all over the world. In Brazil for example, the long-running Volvo Traffic Safety Program targeting professional drivers was a key factor in the Volvo Group being named Brazil’s ‘Most sustainable company in the automotive sector’.
Read more about the Volvo Group’s traffic and work site safety initiatives in the Sustainability report
Safety belt keeps pupils in place. Viktoria Björkman, Negin Hashmati and Alice Andersson from Fenestra St Jörgen School test sitting in a truck cab that has been rotated to 65 degrees. Photo Jonas Tobin
Beatrice Asplund demonstrates for Dzan Zubcevic, Harry Olofsson and William Bruun what happens when a vehicle rotates. Photo: Jonas Tobin
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