On The Last Trip

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On The Last Trip
On The Last Trip

Video: On The Last Trip

Video: On The Last Trip
Video: El Castro - عقاب رحلة / In T Last of T Trip 2023, October

The main cause of many fatal accidents is drifting off the road. The journey usually ends at a tree. Accident experts are calling for a black box for the car.

By Martin Woldt

It is hardly suitable for marching, as was once sung in the Schlager. Despite its closeness to nature, it is still a particularly good address for romantic feelings. On the highway, where the majority of motorists supposedly feel safest compared to all other traffic routes, death is most likely to lurk. 61 percent of all traffic fatalities finally exhale here, five times more than on the motorway, which is fraught with greater fear. And he, who makes the special charm of the country road, is at the same time the real cause of death: the tree.

Five stars are not enough

Every fifth victim in road traffic took his last breath because a tree in the street would not let him pass. According to studies by the Swiss Advice Center for Accident Prevention (bfu), the risk of being killed in a tree accident is twice as high for car occupants and three times as high for motorcyclists as after a collision with other obstacles. It is probably true that the number of road fatalities is hovering from one historic low to the next. The involuntary encounter with a tree has not lost its ultimate character because of it.

Even if more and more cars pass their crash test with five stars, safety remains an illusion at this moment. Because the EuroNCAP only stipulates an impact speed of 23 km / h for the test. "In reality," says Dekra accident expert Jörg Ahlgrimm, "the impact speed is often more than twice as high." Yes, if the driver adhered to a prescribed cruising speed of 80 km / h. "In the event of a collision with a tree, the entire impact energy is concentrated on a small area of the vehicle," explains Ahlgrimm. No car is designed for that. Especially not if the impact occurs with the roof after a rollover or with the side after a skid maneuver. There are no crumple zones to the top or to the side.

Driving experience under supervision


And as if one still had to prove that, the demonstration was the focus of this year's spectacle by the accident researchers from Dekra and Axa-Winterthur-Versicherung this week in Wildhaus, Switzerland. To demonstrate the potential danger of the country road, the impact of an out of control car was simulated with a metal post or tree. The flying splinters, the loud bang are one thing, the other, terrifying is the depth with which the tree penetrates the vehicle.

If you extrapolate the number of accidents in the past year, such scenes from a different perspective were the last of their lives for around 900 accident victims. The possibilities to do something effectively are not unlimited. On the one hand, it is mainly young drivers, as you can see from the unmistakable wooden crosses, who are straying from the road. As Ahlgrimm sees it, they often still lack the necessary life experience to cope with the moment. As an accident researcher, he therefore advocates that they can acquire more driving experience under supervision.

Black box for the car

The recommendation to plant bushes instead of trees along the roadway is by no means followed by all responsible departments. "The ecological value of a tree," grins Ahlgrimm, "is not related to its close proximity to the road." At the same time, he complains that such plantings are far too close, which are less than ten meters in Germany and more in Scandinavia.

From a researcher's point of view, he also believes the time has come and the technical means are mature to equip vehicles with a black box that records driver and vehicle behavior at critical moments. Because there is still too little insight into the circumstances of the moment when drivers leave the country road.

For more than a third of those who were killed on this route in 2007, the accident log stated “Leave the road”. Instant failure, technical defects, microsleep … in many cases the question remains unanswered. In 2008 almost 4,500 people died in road traffic in Germany.