From minor paint damage to fatal road traffic accidents: Every year AXA receives numerous notifications of claims from its insured. In order to analyze how and why the most frequent accidents occur, AXA set up an accident research unit in 1981. And it's been an international success story that's unique in the Swiss insurance market.
The trend towards SUVs is inexorable – every fifth car insured by AXA is now a sports utility vehicle. But these big heavy cars cause up to a quarter more accidents than other cars – often with very serious consequences. This is illustrated by this year's crash tests carried out by AXA accident researchers.
The rising number of e-cars on Swiss roads means that there will be more accidents in future involving them. However, e-cars differ from conventional cars in several ways, and this also affects the general accident situation. AXA’s accident researchers used three crash tests at Dübendorf Air Base to highlight specific risks associated with e-cars.
It's no secret that since mobile phones became widespread, more accidents have been caused by road users while they were telephoning or writing text messages. With the additional possibilities now offered by smartphones, the greater the temptation to use apps while on the move – whether as a driver or pedestrian.
The driver of a passenger car on the highway spots congestion ahead. He brakes in good time and stops. The driver of the following passenger car is distracted by his smartphone, brakes too late, and crashes into the standing traffic at 60 kph.
A pedestrian is staring at his smartphone and listening to music from the headphones. As if blind and deaf, he crosses the street and is hit by a passenger car at 50 kph.
The driver of a passenger car is driving along a country road and writing a text message on his smartphone at the same time. He veers into the lane of oncoming traffic where a truck is heading toward him. Although the truck driver brakes immediately, he is still moving at 30 kph when the passenger car crashes into him at 60 kph.
Compared with cars, vans are considerably more dangerous. This is illustrated by AXA Accident Research & Prevention data: Vans insured by AXA cause around 40% more accidents than cars.
A child is playing with a ball, which rolls out onto the road, and the child runs after it. As the van approaches at approx. 50 kph, the child suddenly emerges from behind a parked car and is hit.
A driver has hired a van in order to move house. He underestimates the van's height and collides with a fixed obstacle while traveling at approx. 50 kph.
A van is traveling on a highway and the driver sees a line of traffic ahead too late. The van collides with the standing traffic at approx. 70 kph.
The crash tests being conducted this year are intended to demonstrate the differences between old and new cars. This will show the positive developments as well as the limits of passive security systems.
Two collisions involving a compact car crashing into the side of a mid-size car demonstrate how passenger protection has developed. The crashes involve speeds of approx. 50 kph.
The collision with a pedestrian is meant to demonstrate how an active engine hood works. The approaching vehicle is moving at approx. 40 kph when it hits the pedestrian.
A passenger car is about to cross a road on which other traffic has the right of way. The driver of the car overlooks a motorcycle approaching at approx. 70 kph and causes a collision.