Škoda Auto launches road safety survey

The project objective is to map out the behaviour of vehicles in real road accidents and make use of the survey findings to further enhance the already existing cars, as well as vehicles whose development is underway.

In cooperation with Czech police, the country's National Fire Department and other agencies Ministries of the Interior, Transport and Health, Škoda Auto is launching a new road safety survey. 

A dedicated survey team made up of Škoda Auto's Technical Development people and experts from a number of other institutions is going to analyse real road accidents involving mass-produced Škoda vehicles. Special attention will be drawn to cases of airbag activation, human injuries and collisions with cyclists and pedestrians. The subsequent analysis is going to be made up of three key components: technical (damage to the vehicle and the vehicle's behaviour in the accident concerned), medical (human injuries and possibilities of minimising the same) and psychological (cause of the accident). Along with information acquired through standard crash tests, the findings of the said survey are going to be used to further improve the active and passive safety of the existing cars, as well as vehicles whose development is underway. The project implementation is based on vast experience and methods employed by VW and Audi, i.e., companies that have been conducting similar surveys on German roads for several years now.

Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Škoda Auto Board Member responsible for technological development, said on this occasion: “The reason why we look at real accidents is that we wish to avoid as many similar cases in the future as possible and, should they still occur, minimise their consequences. As most accidents are unfortunately caused by human failures, we also want to support appropriate corrective action, i.e., take preventive measures, explain what is actually going on when an accident occurs, how important it is to use seat belts and fasten any load carried in the vehicle, and highlight the roles of the vehicle's speed, the driver's response time and a safe distance. We want to look for additional possibilities of ensuring that the vehicle itself is able to eliminate accident consequences in a more efficient way. That is why we look at vehicles' behaviour in standard barrier tests, as well is in real accidents.”

The Road Safety Survey team is going to receive accident reports directly from police, provided that the officials in charge are sure that the aforesaid criteria have been met. Furthermore, a free telephone line on 800 634 639 (800 NEHODY) has been launched today (15 January, 2008). If possible and as may be agreed with the respective department of Czech police, the Road Safety Survey team can go to actual accident scenes with specially modified Škoda Octavia Scouts equipped with appropriate documentation and measuring technology. Where the circumstances allow it, the specialists can then gather data describing the accident scene, the conditions, the vehicles and their technical parameters, the damage incurred and human injuries, if any, all that right at the scene of the accident concerned.

Martin Jahn, Škoda Auto Board Member responsible for HR, says: “We could not implement this project without the extensive support provided by the respective agencies of the Ministries of the Interior, Transport and Health, i.e., particularly without close cooperation with Czech police, the National Fire Department and BESIP (road safety agency - translator's note). Considering the high share of Škoda vehicles in the domestic market, nearly every other vehicle on Czech roads is a Škoda, without exaggerating, which is one of the reasons why we've initiated this project. We believe that the survey will contribute to making our roads safer.”