Criteria for the suitability of onboard video systems in trucks for the prevention of accidents when turning right

Project No. IFA 5134


completed 06/2016


(Note: the project refers to turning right in right-hand traffic, i. e. turning left in left-hand traffic).

Right turns of trucks repeatedly lead to serious accidents with pedestrians and cyclists. The victims of these accidents are generally knocked down by a slow-moving truck and then run over. The cause of the accident is not generally the speed of the truck, but the poor all-round visibility from it. Accidents of this kind are frequently fatal to pedestrians and cyclists, and often also cause severe psychological trauma to the truck driver.

Onboard video systems serve as an vision aid for drivers and are able to improve the view of the relevant areas. However, the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for Commercial Transport, Postal Logistics and Telecommunication could not provide assistance in the selection of such systems, as they had not previously been studied scientifically.

The objective of the project was to produce a catalogue of criteria describing how such a system should be designed in order to improve visibility in the relevant areas (monitor position, camera position, representation of the surrounding area, etc.). The criteria were then to be applied to the systems available on the market in order to determine the suitability of available products for this purpose.


A study of onboard video systems was conducted. Properties of existing systems, requirements of standards and requirements of directives were considered. In addition, accident reports were studied in order to identify the areas around trucks in which impaired visibility leads to greater numbers of accidents.

Two different psychological studies were conducted. The first study concentrated on the question of whether turning right triggers stress in the driver, and whether this stress is lower when an onboard video system is fitted. The second study had the purpose of determining how drivers use their onboard video system.

The results of the study and the psychological examinations were compared and the result summarized in a catalogue of questions that can be used by carriers to evaluate and select onboard video systems suitable for their vehicles and their needs (e.g. driving at night).


A catalogue of questions and requirements concerning onboard video systems was developed in the project. This provides an overview of the criteria to be met by onboard video systems in order for them to be used as full replacements for vehicle mirrors. Onboard video systems that only supplement mirrors should also satisfy as many of these criteria as possible. By means of this catalogue, it was ascertained that in many respects existing supplementary systems already satisfy the high requirements for substitutes for mirrors. At the same time, the catalogue can be used by the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for Commercial Transport, Postal Logistics and Telecommunication and by trade and industry to assess the progress of technical development of further systems. The individual requirements for onboard video systems were presented in a comprehensive concluding report. More detailed information on each individual point in the catalogue is therefore now available. Based upon the results of accident investigations and studies of visibility conducted by other parties, a critical area adjacent to the goods vehicle was identified that constitutes both an accident blackspot, and a poorly visible area. It was demonstrated that onboard video systems are able to make this area observable.

Last Update:

24 Apr 2017


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
  • Berufsgenossenschaft für Transport und Verkehrswirtschaft (BG Verkehr)
  • Institut für Arbeit und Gesundheit der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IAG)


Type of hazard:

work-related health hazards


transport and traffic, man-machine interface, accident prevention

Description, key words:

turning right, onboard video system, truck, CCTV system, goods vehicle, carrier, contract carrier, private carrier, haulier, haulage company