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Safe at the back of the jam – Kögel is championing the initiative “Hellwach mit 80 km/h” (wide awake at 80 km/h)

Sicher ans Stauende – „Hellwach mit 80 km/h“

Care package | 04/11/2021

Severe collisions at the back of a traffic jam are becoming more common. The “Hellwach mit 80 km/h” initiative wants to draw truck drivers’ attention to the problem with an information brochure. Kögel is supporting the campaign and distributing the free brochure to professional truckers and fleet operators.

Danger is lurking at the back of the jam. If traffic on the highway gets held up because of congestion or works, there is a risk of severe collisions – especially when trucks are involved. In 2020, 47 truck drivers died in collisions at the back of jams. There is no end in sight: in October 2021, 55 professional truckers had lost their lives at the back of jams. A tragic statistic.

The main cause for these accidents is a lack of attention. There are many reasons for this – for example, dropping off to sleep momentarily or being distracted by a smartphone. The association “Hellwach mit 80 km/h” wants to make professional truckers aware of precisely these issues. Together with experienced truckers, those responsible for the initiative have developed ten rules to help avoid collisions. A new prevention brochure now presents the rules clearly. And Kögel is actively supporting the initiative: anyone picking up a trailer from Kögel receives the campaign brochure as part of the delivery – not only in German, but also in a number of other languages.

“Our motto at Kögel is: 'Because we care'. This also means that we take care of the well-being of professional drivers, ”explains Thomas Rosenberger, Head of Marketing, Public Relations & Communication. “We don't want families to lose fathers and mothers through accidents. We are very concerned about the increasing number of accidents at the end of the traffic jam. That is why we support the association “Hellwach mit 80 km / h e. V. "in his important work and participate in the educational work."

“Hellwach mit 80 km/h” was cofounded by traffic police officer Dieter Schäfer. The event that led to the founding of the association was as tragic as the issues behind the initiative are important. “On Shrove Monday 2018, a semitrailer hit the back of a traffic jam on the A5 highway before the Walldorf interchange, crushing two medium-sized cars,” recalls Dieter Schäfer. “Four people died, including the father, mother and sister of the only survivor, a 15-year-old girl.” It is suspected that the truck driver was distracted. This experience still affects Dieter Schäfer: “Even as an experienced traffic police officer, you can’t bury that away. This was the trigger for our initiative ‘Hellwach mit 80 km/h’.”

“In Kögel, we are proud to have acquired a leading manufacturer as a partner. Deaths at the back of traffic jams have to stop.”

Dieter Schäfer,
Traffic police officer and founder of “Hellwach mit 80 km/h”

Dieter Schäfer considers the initiative’s main duty to be explaining the problem and drawing the attention of drivers and fleet operators to the danger. In other words: information is the best form of prevention. Truck drivers don’t drive into the back of a traffic jam on purpose, after all. “But they need to understand and take in the fact that they are responsible for 40 tonnes,” says Dieter Schäfer. The ten core rules should contribute to eliminating the reasons for accidents.

“With the prevention brochure, we want to persuade as many of the 800,000 truck drivers a day on German roads as possible, but also their bosses, bookers and clients,” explains Schäfer concerning the initiative’s goals. “To do this, we need strong partners. In Kögel, we are especially proud to have acquired one of the leading trailer manufacturers as a partner and are certain that additional backers will follow suit. Deaths at the back of traffic jams have to end and only drivers can have an immediate effect.” A great objective that, hopefully, will come a significant step closer with the educational work via the brochure. So that danger is no longer lurking at the back of traffic jams.

These are the ten “Max 80” rules

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