MORE than 78,000 lives have been saved since Euro NCAP’s tough crash safety tests were launched 20 years ago this week. Today, Euro NCAP reveals it has published over 630 safety ratings, crash-tested some 1,800 cars and collectively spent over 160 million Euroto make cars safer.
The first tests exposed safety failings in top-selling family cars, forcing a fundamental rethink in the way vehicles were designed to prevent accidents and save lives. Twenty years on, 9 out of 10 cars sold on the European market hold a Euro NCAP rating and the motor industry actively supports the development of new requirements for the top safety ratings.
Today, the results of crash tests of two family cars built 20 years apart underline the huge advances in vehicle safety since 1997. Safety technologies that were non-existent or optional at most - such as driver and passenger airbags, side protection airbags, belt reminders and electronic stability control – are now standard on all cars sold in Europe.
“We are very proud - as we mark 20 years at the forefront of road safety – that Euro NCAP’s programme of safety tests has achieved major, life-saving improvements in cars and has helped Europe reach the lowest road fatality rate for any region in the world (3).” said Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen.
In the first round of tests, of seven popular ‘supermini’ sized cars, the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo each achieved three stars out of the then-maximum of four, based on protection levels offered to adult occupants with the top selling Rover 100 achieved only one star.
Leading car manufacturers attacked the tests, claiming they were so severe that it was ‘impossible’ for a car to achieve four stars. Five months later, however, Volvo’s S40 became the first four-star car for occupant protection.
Euro NCAP tests have become ever more demanding and cars can now achieve a maximum of five stars, awarded not just for how they protect occupants and pedestrians in a collision, but on the car’s ability to avoid a crash in the first place. The tests represent real-life accident scenarios that could result in the death or injury. Top achievers must demonstrate that their cars are fitted as standard with technology that avoids or mitigates such crashes and, where a crash is not avoidable, adequate protection is offered to car occupants and other road users.
You can check out your new cars NCAP rating by looking at the Technical data/ General information on any of our cars on offer.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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