Euro NCAP has arguably done more to improve the safety of modern European cars than anyone else.
Thatcham Research, which conducts United Kingdom crash tests for Euro NCAP, estimates that advances driven by rigorous testing have helped deliver a 63% reduction in vehicle occupants killed and seriously injured annually, from 23,000 in 1997 to 8,500 in 2015.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: "The Honda's sophisticated body structure collapsed at the front, absorbing the 40mph impact, spreading the force around the vehicle, but leaving the vital safety cage intact".
United Kingdom auto occupant deaths and injuries have fallen by 63% since the Euro NCAP carried out its firs crash tests and delivered a damning one-star verdict on the popular Rover 100 supermini of the time. To mark the occasion and demonstrate how vehicle safety has improved over two decades, a brand new auto was crashed alongside a similar model from 1997.
Slow-motion video footage shows how the older Rover immediately fold in on itself, with the roof buckled upwards, door open and the whole engine bay and dashboard is pushed inwards towards the driver and passengers. In each of the tests the two cars, a Rover 100 and a Honda Jazz, are travelling at the same speeds, but the results are dramatically different. The number of pedestrians and cyclists killed and injured on our roads has also dropped by 40% since 1997. In a head-on crash at 40mph, you definitely do not walk away and you have a very high likelihood that you are no longer with us.
Crash-test dummies 1997 vs 2017
"Thousands of fatalities have been prevented, consumer demand for safety is high, manufacturers compete on safety rating results, and vehicle safety standards continue to improve".
In all, it is believed the tests have prevent 182,000 deaths or serious injuries on United Kingdom roads since 1997.
"These crashes demonstrate how incredibly far we have come in 20 years and show why we have seen a 63 per cent reduction in car-occupant deaths and injuries since 1997, when Euro NCAP began".
"The focus now is all about crash prevention".
Thatcham Research chief executive Peter Shaw called for future safety improvements to be aimed at avoiding crashes, such as automated emergency braking to be fitted as standard on all United Kingdom cars. It is introducing new tests in 2018 to assess lane assist systems that can control a car's steering to avoid a potential collision, systems that will help to reduce crashes at road junctions and improved pedestrian and cyclist-detecting AEB systems. "Now we have the safest cars ever and the safety levels of each auto are there for all to see". "Next year, we will test systems that recognise and avoid crashes with cyclists, and we're lining up a very challenging roadmap for 2020 to 2025".
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