There is no doubt that overturning is one of the great risks for heavy vehicle drivers, especially if they’re carrying dangerous goods.
Now, in Sweden, Scania has been at the forefront of a new defensive driver training program that aims to help equip drivers with the skills required to avoid overturning.
The driver training program involves drivers from AGA Gas, an industrial gas subsidiary in Sweden, and provides an opportunity to experience what it feels like to overturn.
Utilizing a prime-mover/trailer combination, the training sees the driver surprised by an obstacle at 30km/h and forced to make a sharp evasive manoeuvre.
Despite the low speed, the truck/trailer combo swerves violently and the left side wheels rise from the road, only saved from overturning by ‘training wheels’ fitted to the vehicle.
Factors that contribute to trucks overturning:
- Lack of driver knowledge/training
- Driver fatigue
- Momentary lack of concentration
- Excessive speed
- Sharp turns
Jörgen Kalénius is a Scania driver trainer in Stockholm, he says nearly all overturning accidents can be attributed to human factors.
“In reality, the margins for error are much smaller, and we carry out these training exercises with a high degree of control and protection to ensure people’s safety.
“What we wish to convey during the course is what it’s actually like to overturn.
“The participants should know what that feels like and gain a better understanding of the risks involved.”
There’s no word yet on the program being introduced in Australia, we will keep you updated.