Accident reports in harmony for Europe


A new European standard will harmonize reporting on accidents with agricultural vehicles and calls on EU Member States to implement the new template. Source: AFDJ eNews

The final Draft FprEN 16831 was largely approved by the European standardisation body CEN and the official EN standard will be published in the coming next months.

It is the first standard of its kind to harmonize the way accidents involving agricultural vehicles are evaluated and reported.

Currently, only national or regional reporting templates exist within the European Union (EU) which makes it difficult to compare accident data.

As a result, pan-European data on accidents is largely missing or non-existing, particularly since the accuracy and completeness of many existing accident reporting schemes is patchy.

CEMA Project Team Chairman and CEN Project Leader Massimo Bergo underlines the importance for EU Member States to implement the new template.

“As a first step, CEMA brought and processed this initiative to CEN,” he said.

“Now the second challenging step should be the effective implementation by EU Member States because the final goal will be the exchange and analysis of results in a harmonized pan-European database.

“This needs to be a joint effort and CEMA is committed to playing its part.”

CEMA Senior Expert Antoon Vermeulen said: “By establishing a single uniform template that will need to be filled in for each and every accident involving agricultural machinery, the new standard is an important step forward to boost safety in Europe.

“Only if we understand the exact nature and dynamics of accidents across the EU will we be able to improve safety levels in the use of agricultural machinery.”

For the assessment of EU product legislation, the European Commission relies heavily on accident reporting data.

The historical lack and insufficient accuracy of European accident data has made it difficult to develop evidence-based and cost-efficient changes to safety requirements for agricultural vehicles, which would effectively help to reduce accidents.

By contrast, the data collected with the new CEN standard could help to inform the development of appropriate proposals for the reduction of accidents and could allow to adapt EU legislation regarding the occupational and road safety of agricultural vehicles accordingly.

Apart from establishing a single, harmonized reporting template for the whole of Europe, the CEN standard puts a dedicated focus on understanding the causality and dynamics of specific accidents above and beyond the usual procedures related to establishing accident responsibility.

The data collected will provide reliable statistical evidence on different important parameters such as:

  • influence of vehicle design;
  • information on vehicle combinations;
  • condition of the vehicle; vehicle use;
  • characteristics of the driver;
  • and other circumstantial aspects such as road surface or weather conditions.