A new safety function that makes it easier for long haul truck drivers to maintain safe distance from the vehicle ahead has been introduced by Volvo Trucks.
The commercial vehicle manufacturer announced Distance Alert as a safety solution developed to allay critical situations.
At present 20 per cent of all serious collisions involving trucks involve one vehicle running into the back of another.
Often accidents of this kind, according to Carl Johan Almqvist Volvo Trucks Traffic and Product Safety Director, are caused by inattention and too short distance to the vehicle in front.
"Distance Alert warns drivers with a red light in the windscreen as soon as the truck gets too close to the vehicle ahead and in most cases a collision can be prevented,” he said.
Distance Alert is part of Collision Warning with Emergency Brake – the most recent version of Volvo Trucks' driving support system.
It's designed to help drivers to prevent accidents in several stages.
Should Distance Alert not have the intended effect, a flashing light and an audible alarm are used to warn the driver before the advanced emergency brake is activated.
All of this happens, according to Volvo Trucks, within just a few seconds.
Intended for use on major roads outside cities, the function is switched on at speeds over 60 km/h, unless the adaptive cruise control system is in use.
In the same way as the collision warning system's other functions, Distance Alert uses a combination of camera and radar technology to calculate the distance and identify objects on the road.
“By continuously improving the active safety systems in our trucks, we are giving drivers better ways of reducing the risks that they and other road users are exposed to. Distance Alert is one of many examples of how technology can help to make good drivers even better,” said Almqvist.
“For haulage companies, investing in safety it makes sense not only to protect people, but also to save money," he said.
"Lower insurance and repair costs and less unplanned downtime are some of the arguments. In addition, a safe driving style is generally fuel-efficient. The combination of well-trained, safety-conscious drivers and safer trucks benefits everyone.”