Light transport vehicles are becoming more important in the European vehicle fleet. There is a growing public interest in the safety of delivery vans as they become increasingly regarded as the workplace of the drivers. To date, only little attention has been given to the accident involvement and to the safety performance of such vehicles both from the research and the regulatory point of view.
Official statistics give an overview of the growth of the number of these vehicles and their accident involvement. More detailed accident analyses using in-depth studies are presented from analysis of cases collected by DEKRA and the Ford light truck accident study. These analyses have highlighted particular items of interest such as crash configurations, injury severity, restraint use and compatibility. The occupant safety of current delivery vans is described by the results of crash tests and brake tests carried out by DEKRA. Crash tests were carried out at a full frontal impact at 48 km/h (according to FMVSS 208 / 301). In another test, the vehicle was crashed at 56 km/h with 40 % overlap (according to ECE-R 94). The responses from occupant dummies show low injury risk and reasonable structural behaviour. Brake tests according to ECE Regulation 13 show that the brake performance of current delivery vans is nearly the same as for cars.
The authors highlight some areas of future consideration for improving the operational safety of light goods vehicles.