15 May 2019

Smart car safety technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, but some think that manufacturers should be doing more to protect road users.

This year, the European Union has said that it is planning to introduce new road safety regulations that mean all new cars in Europe will have to be equipped with 30 advanced safety systems on. These new safety features will become mandatory from 2022.

The new regulations and laws will mean manufacturers will have to equip new vehicles with cameras and sensors that control speed, assist drivers with lane keeping and reversing, and monitor drowsiness and distractions from internal technology such as smartphones.

The EU Commission said the move would reduce accidents, pave the way towards more connected and automated mobility, and boost innovation in the regions car industry.

Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: "Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error. We can and must act to change this.

With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when the safety belts were first introduced. Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high–end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future."

According to the press release, the new mandatory safety features include:

  • For cars, vans, trucks and buses: warning of driver drowsiness and distraction (e.g. smartphone use while driving), intelligent speed assistance, reversing safety with camera or sensors, and data recorder in case of an accident (‘black box')
  • For cars and vans: lane keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, and crash test improved safety belts
  • For trucks and buses: specific requirements to improve the direct vision of bus and truck drivers and to remove blind spots, and systems at the front and side of the vehicle to detect and warn of vulnerable road users, especially when making turns 

The Commission believes that these new safety measures will avoid at least 140,000 serious road-related injuries by 2038, and will contribute to the EU’s long-term goal of moving closer to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.

In a statement from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), Executive Director, Antonio Avenosos, said: “There have only been a handful of moments in the last fifty years which could be described as big leaps forward for road safety in Europe.

The mandatory introduction of the seat belt was one, and the first EU minimum crash safety standards, agreed in 1998 was another.  If last night’s agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force.”

It will be interesting to see how this impacts the way businesses operate fleets over the coming years, and what impact the new legislation will have on the way drivers use the road, both for personal and business journeys.

Further reading

To find out more about how to improve safety within a fleet, take a look at the articles listed below:

In summary, vehicle manufacturers are going to have to consider the latest developments in technology, and the safety requirements of fleets across the country. Fleet managers will also have to consider the features that each vehicle should have when upgrading their vehicles.

To find out more about our fleet management and leasing, employee benefits solutions and driver services, call a member of our team on 0844 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com.