Posted on September 08, 2015

Senior officials from MAN Truck & Bus shared insights and best practices on enhancing road safety in Qatar and the wider region with attendees at the 4th Annual Middle East ITS & Road Safety Forum which is taking place starting today September 8 till September 9th at the St. Regis Hotel, Doha.

The subject of road safety has become a significant focus for regional authorities and in Qatar as well where authorities are committed to Qatar’s road safety vision to have a safe road transport system that protects all road users with a strategic goal of reducing traffic fatalities to 10 deaths per 100,000 residents by 2016. Dr. Richard Brown, Head of Product Management Middle East for MAN shared that 75 % of all road accidents are caused solely by driver’s “behavioral misconduct”. Wrong driving behavior can only be changed with the right feedback and active listening contributing to changing attitude and being more aware about potential blind spots.

Speaking at the forum, Dr. Brown said,“ Based on MAN’s global experience and research, we firmly believe that a combination of behavioural and technological measures can significantly enhance road safety on public roads in the region. We also need fleet operators and owners to make sure that they fully comply with all necessary regulations. It takes a collective mindset to bring about this change and platforms like the Annual Middle East ITS & Road Safety Forum helps to bring together all stakeholders so we can collectively commit to a safer future.”   

Dr. Brown also highlighted the impact of Telematics (transfer of information over telecommunications) which when applied in a smart way can also change operational behavior to reduce operating costs, improve efficiency, improve compliance as well as increase road safety. This can be done by measuring driver behaviour over time to see how they perform in terms of safe driving. Consider this: a 5% decrease in average speed leads to an approximately 10% decrease in injury crashes and a 20% decrease in fatal crashes according to a US Department of Transportation study in 2014. In the UK, experience from a fleet operator has revealed that Telematics can lead to a 92 % reduction in speeding.

MAN Truck & Bus recommends 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgSome of the leading technologies that MAN vehicles have in terms of improving safety include:

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

The system constantly monitors the dynamic status of the vehicle and then automatically calls on the engine management and brake system to intervene if the truck threatens to tip over or skid.

Adaptive Cruise Control

The adaptive cruise control (ACC) automatically adapts the distance to the vehicle travelling in front according to the preset settings, thereby significantly reducing the risk of rear-end collisions.

Lane Guard System

On long and monotonous routes or during night-time driving, the driver's attention sometimes wanes – or he may even fall asleep for a second. The lane guard system (LGS) monitors whether the vehicle stays in the correct lane, thus ensuring improved safety and driving comfort. If the vehicle leaves its lane without the driver having activated the direction indicators, an acoustic signal sounds to warn the driver.

Tipmatic

The twelve-speed MAN TipMatic® semi-automatic gearbox creates a perfect synthesis of comfort and efficiency. It can be operated effortlessly, either fully automatically or manually using a touch-action lever on the steering wheel. The clutch pedal has been removed and no gear stick is required. The driver is not distracted and can fully concentrate on the road. Stefan Schnitzler, Importer Support Manager & Regional Training Manager for MAN also spoke at the forum and highlighted the vital importance of Driver Training to improve safety standards.

In particular he spoke about MAN's ProfiDrive training which is a specialized training program, designed to raise the level of knowledge so that drivers can adopt the best driving practices. The vital nature of driver training can also be gauged from industry studies such as the one conducted in Germany which concluded that 75% of all road accidents were caused solely by driver’s behavioral misconduct.[1]

Through a ProfiDrive training seminar, drivers learn predictive driving techniques such as how to recognise dangerous situations, calculate the optimum stopping distance and evade obstacles that suddenly emerge. MAN has been offering the service to its customers in the Middle East for on-road operations since 2009 and is now also offering an off-road training module to cover all aspects of truck operation in the region. In addition to having its own certified trainer for ProfiDrive, MAN is now also assisting customers with large fleets to have their own in-house trainer for their dedicated requirements. More than 1.000 drivers have been trained by MAN over the last 2 years through ProfiDrive training conducted across the region thereby contributing to improved safety standards and more aware drivers on regional roads.

[1] Source: Technische Assistenzsysteme: vom Industrieroboter zum Roboterassistenten by Wolfgang Gerke 2015

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