Bus accidents in wintertime

Mats Wiklund
Gudrun Öberg

Buses in Sweden have a low accident risk. However, statistics from 1996 - 2002 indicate that the number of bus accidents in Sweden with personal injuries have been increasing by 4% yearly. Buses also have a higher percentage of accidents that occur on ice/snow covered roads than other vehicles. In Sweden passenger cars must be equipped with winter tyres during the winter period. There is no such regulation for heavy vehicles, and many buses are using summer tyres all around the year. The present project had the purpose of looking at the bus-winter problem in more detail, with the main focus on tyres. Four different studies were carried out: tyre tests, focus group discussions, driving simulator tests and an accident study. Here is given a short summary concerning methods and conclusions of each sub project.

Tyre tests on smooth ice did not show any significant difference between summer tyres and non-studded winter tyres, while studded tyres exhibits a better ice grip than non-studded tyres. Nor did driving simulator tests with driving on ice covered road under the influence of heavy wind from the side show a difference between summer tyres and non-studded winter tyres. Also in these tests studded tyres were superior to non-studded. Accident statistics indicate that buses with summer tyres on the steering axle and winter tyres on the drive axle have the lowest estimated accident risk, which is in accordance with the results in a previous study. The results are however not statistically significant due the low number of accidents. Three focus groups were carried out and the importance of the tyres for traffic safety during winter was discussed. It is however hard from the gathered discussion material to estimate just how important the tyres really are. The results do not warrant a winter tyre regulation for heavy vehicles, and a restriction of the use of studded tyres for buses would probably have negative consequences on traffic safety.



Open seminar with Mistra SAMS international scientific advisory...

Mistra SAMS international scientific advisory panel (ISAP) is visiting Stockholm, and the program will host an open seminar where the panel members will give talks in their area of expertise.

ERPUG 2017

The five year anniversary of  European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017. 



Vehicle Driver Monitoring: sleepiness and cognitive load

To prevent road crashes it is important to understand driver related contributing factors, which have been suggested to be the critical reason in 94 per cent of crashes. The overall aim of the project Vehicle Driver Monitoring has been to advance the...


Tomas Svensson new director-general

Tomas Svensson was today appointed Director-General of VTI. Tomas has been acting Director-General since January 2017. 


Crash testing bicycles at VTI

For the first time single bicycle crashes have been simulated at the VTI crash safety laboratory.


A case study exploring firefighters’ and municipal officials’ preparedness for electrical vehicles

A VTI-study presents a social perspective on new vehicle technology. It explores the self-reported preparedness of the fire departments (i.e., rescue services) in Sweden’s three largest cities regarding rescue operations involving electrical vehicles (EVs).


Pioneering research on and about bicycles at VTI

Under what circumstances might cyclists lose tyre grip? What actions could then be taken to prevent a crash? VTI is currently developing a theoretical model of the behaviour of bicycle tyres during braking and steering in different situations and on different...


Virtual pedestrians create efficient stations

If more people are to choose sustainable travel, then the public transport stations of the future must be designed so that pedestrians can get where they are going quickly, without congestion or queues. The Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)...