Investment in technology drives advances in road safety

12 February 2008 #SMMT News

Three new car safety systems from Honda, Mercedes and Volvo unveiled today at an event hosted by motor insurance body Thatcham, will help to mitigate and in some cases prevent low speed shunts and collisions. These systems further demonstrate the clear commitment the motor industry devotes to the continuous improvement of its products and the advances being made by applying cutting edge technologies to provide practical solutions.

New technologies, like those launched today by the motor industry, cascade down the market. Systems like ABS, once the preserve of only the most prestigious models, have been fitted as standard, on a voluntary basis, since 2004. Similarly, the take-up of stability control systems such as ESC is increasing, both in terms of standard fit and availability as an option.

‘The development and application of active safety technologies by vehicle manufacturers has helped to drive down road traffic fatalities. As the largest investor in R&D in Europe (€20 billion), the automotive sector continues to deliver the technologies that save lives and reduce accidents,’ said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. ‘At the same time, this investment is also reducing CO2 emissions, making vehicles more secure and improving their recyclability.’

The motor industry will continue to make multi-million pound investments in new car safety which directly impacts on driving down road casualties. According to government figures, both occupant and pedestrian fatalities continue to fall. This is the clearest indication that investment in active and passive safety is benefiting all road users. Accident avoidance is paramount and SMMT suggests that more could be done to improve performance further through driver education and improved road design.

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