Trucks Endure Hellish Crash Tests To Prove They Are Ready For The Road

truck crash test scania
Image: Scania Trucks & Buses YouTube channel

Even though safety technologies in vehicles have improved over the decades, there is still a significant amount of life-threatening road accidents occurring every year. A sizeable chunk of these incidents tends to involve a truck which, despite the emergence of other means of transport, is still a popular way of transporting goods.

According to Statista, there were over 12.1 million road accidents in the U.S. as recently as 2019. Out of them, 44.3 percent of the cases were related to light and large trucks combined. These stats underline the importance of ramping up truck safety to minimize damage and even loss of life.

For testing the durability and safety aspects of a truck, manufacturers conduct a series of different tests. In the video below, you can watch how a host of top truck companies ensure their vehicle is ready for the worst.

What is a truck crash test?

A truck crash test revolves around intentionally crashing a truck in a controlled and monitored area for testing its aptitude when it comes to protecting the passengers onboard. These crash tests include the vehicle’s collision with both static and moving obstacles to mimic various road accident scenarios.

It is imperative for manufacturers to test a truck from every angle and side possible. Therefore, there are distinct tests for each side of a truck, such as frontal-impact test, side-impact test, and rollover test. Moreover, some crash tests emulate specific crash conditions, such as a pole-impact test, while other tests check the quality of certain safety mechanisms, such as a sled test (tests airbags and seatbelts).

For these crash tests, human-like dummies come into play to better simulate the potential impact of real-life accidents on passengers. These dummies can record important data about crushing force, impact velocity, body torque, and the like. Given the expensive nature of crash tests, the amount of data extracted in each instance becomes crucial.

side impact crash test
A truck during a side-impact crash test. (Image: Scania Trucks & Buses YouTube channel)

Leading truck manufacturers and their approach to crash testing

Volvo is a leading name in the truck segment, and it takes its crash testing very seriously. That’s why it boasts a fleet of world-class trucks with unrivaled safety standards. In fact, the Volvo FH16 is even considered one of the world’s safest trucks due to features like the automatic emergency braking system. Volvo’s trucks undergo several notable crash tests, including the Swedish cab strength test, barrier test, and more.

Another popular name in the world of trucking, Scania, gives exemplary commitment to making their trucks the safest possible. Their vehicles go through about 5 years of advanced crash testing before getting the green flag. One of their strenuous tests is the rollover test. And, they even offer side curtain airbags for tackling this particular test. Credit to how sturdy they are built, certain Scania trucks could still be driven around even after sustaining a crash.

Speaking of trucks, what happens if one gets all mucky in the middle of nowhere? The solution is a mobile car wash machine that cleans the truck on the spot.

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