What are the consequences of you being distracted by your smartphone while driving and crashing into stationary traffic at 60 kph? How is it that an electric car reversing out of a parking space hits somebody and causes more damage than a petrol car? Typical and unfortunately commonplace situations that AXA intends to look into in its annual crash tests. This is because of one of the main tasks of AXA Accident Research & Prevention is to understand the devastating consequences that accidents like these can have on life and limb. The tests provide important findings in this regard.
The trend towards SUVs is inexorable – every fifth car insured by AXA is now a sports utility vehicle. But these big heavy vehicles cause up to a quarter more accidents than other passenger cars – often with very serious consequences. This was highlighted in the crash tests carried out by Accident Research & Prevention in Wildhaus in 2020.
The rising number of electric cars on Swiss roads means that in future they will be involved in more accidents. However, electric cars differ from conventional ones in several ways, and this also affects the general accident situation. For the 2019 crash tests at Dübendorf Air Base, AXA Accident Research & Prevention carried out three crashes to highlight specific risks associated with electric cars.
The urban mobility of the future presents us with challenges: drones, e-cargo bikes or shared concepts. New means of transport meet proven ones. People's changed mobility needs in towns require new mobility concepts. This all entails new risks. AXA Accident Research & Prevention devoted itself to urban transport of the future in its 2018 crash tests in Dübendorf.
Self-driving cars are the future of mobility - that's something that experts agree on. In the 2017 crash tests in Dübendorf, AXA established where the risks lie and which accidents can't be avoided, even with the best technology.
Since the use of mobile phones has become so widespread, more accidents are being caused by people talking on their phones or writing text messages while driving. With the increase in possibilities for using a smartphone, the temptation to use apps in road traffic has also grown – whether as a driver or a pedestrian. Everyday situations were simulated in AXA's 2016 crash tests in Dübendorf.
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 on his 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.