Walter Niewöhner honored with the European Commercial Vehicle Safety Award

Walter Niewöhner has been honored with the European Commercial Vehicle Safety Award 2022. The long-time DEKRA accident researcher received the prize, which has been awarded jointly by the European Association for Accident Research and Analysis (EVU), the expert organization DEKRA and the German Road Safety Council (DVR) every year since 1990. The award ceremony took place during the EVU annual meeting at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“In Walter Niewöhner, we are once again honoring a personality who has rendered outstanding services to road safety with a focus on the commercial vehicle sector,” said EVU President Jörg Ahlgrimm. “The large number of projects he has initiated, carried out and published in research and practice is formidable. And I am sure we will be hearing a lot more from him in the coming years about further initiatives to improve road safety, especially for commercial vehicles.”

Walter Niewöhner comes from Bremerhaven and studied mechanical engineering in Hanover, specializing in vehicle technology. During his studies, he worked for six years in accident research at the Hanover Medical School. Among other things, he was involved in the project now known as GIDAS (German In-Depth Accident Study).

In 1989, he began his career at DEKRA Accident Research in Stuttgart and worked on numerous national and international research projects – for example, the findings from the German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) project on the hazards to pedestrians and cyclists still have an impact today. Other projects dealt with safe truck cabs, tankers and vans, and the field of vision of truck drivers, among other things. Walter Niewöhner was co-developer of the mirror adjustment scheme created by DEKRA, Daimler and MAN and initiator of the regular DEKRA surveys on seat belt use rates in commercial vehicles.

Since 2019, Walter Niewöhner has been responsible for International Committees in DEKRA’s Political Communications. In addition to DEKRA’s representation in IRTAD (International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group) since 2004, he represents the international vehicle inspection association CITA in UNECE working groups on automated and connected vehicles (GRVA), among other things. He has also contributed his expertise to the annual DEKRA Road Safety Report since 2007, when the first report was starting to be compiled. Also, the interactive DEKRA Vision Zero map with cities that have already achieved the goal of zero traffic fatalities in built-up areas in at least one year is based on his initiative.

“There has been tremendous progress in recent decades with regard to commercial vehicle safety. On the one hand, this concerns passive safety, but on the other hand, especially in the more recent past, it also concerns active safety in the form of high-performance assistance systems,” says DVR head of department Jacqueline Lacroix. “The development departments of vehicle manufacturers have always relied not only on their own research results, but also on independent ones. We honor Walter Niewöhner’s contribution to this development at DEKRA with the European Commercial Vehicle Safety Award.”

Commenting on the award, Oliver Deiters, Senior Vice President at DEKRA and Head of the Representative Office at the European Union, said, “Walter Niewöhner is a colleague who has been putting his heart and soul into road safety at DEKRA for decades. We are delighted that our partners EVU and DVR have nominated him for this year’s award and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.”

List of recipients to date:
1990 Professor Pal Strifler (Daimler), Hungary
1991 Professor Nikolaus Marx (University of Bremen), Germany
1992 Professor Ernst Göhring (Daimler), Germany
1993 Professor Klaus Langwieder (European Insurances Association), Germany
1994 Professor Egon-Christian von Glasner (Daimler), Germany
1995 Professor Gyula Köfalvi (Széchenyi István University), Györ, Hungary
1996 Siegfried Werber (DVR), Germany
1997 Professor Pál Michelberger (University of Budapest, President of FISITA), Hungary
1998 Eric Thoms (Scania), Sweden
1999 Toru Kajiyama (Isuzu), Japan
2000 Richard Hildebrandt (Allied Signal), USA
2001 Paul Oppenheimer MBE (Lucas-Girling), Great Britain
2002 Professor Jovan Todorovic (University of Belgrade), Serbia
2003 Bernard Tripier (Bosch), France
2004 Professor Sigmar Micke (Bosch), USA
2005 Friedrich-Wilhelm Matzner (Bendiberica), Spain
2006 Dr. Fujio Momiyama (Hino), Japan
2007 Dr. Jürgen Trost (Daimler), Germany
2008 Lennart Svenson (Volvo), Sweden
2009 Professor László Palkovics (Knorr), Hungary
2010 Professor Hartmut Marwitz (Daimler), Germany
2011 Hidehiko Enomoto (Hino), Japan
2012 Eberhard Hipp (MAN), Germany
2013 Christian Börner (BG Fahrzeuge), Germany
2014 Dr. Erwin Petersen (WABCO), Germany
2015 Professor Jörg Zürn (Daimler), Germany
2016 Dr. Christian Wiehen (WABCO), Germany
2017 Fredrich Claezon (Scania), Sweden
2018 Alexander Berg (DEKRA), Germany
2019 Dr. Stefan Guserle (MAN), Germany
2020 Kay Morschheuser (Daimler), Germany
2021 Joachim Werner (Iveco), Germany
2022 Walter Niewöhner (DEKRA), Germany