The safety of all road users is a high priority to all manufacturers in the motor industry. Implementation of new technological developments ensures that improvements in occupant and pedestrian safety continue to be made.
The most common way formotorists to assess the relative safety of vehicles is through the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) vehicle star rating system. Euro NCAP provides consumers with an independent assessment of the safety performance of the most popular cars sold in Europe. Established in 1997, Euro NCAP has rapidly become a catalyst for encouraging significant safety improvements to new car design with many cars now achieving the five star standard.
Road safety is a complex issue that can only be effectively tackled through an integrated approach at local, national and international level. Industry is committed to continued involvement with road safety organisations such as RoadSafe, and high levels of research and development in order continually to improve its products.
Manufacturers work proactively to identify areas of vehicle design and construction that can be improved to increase their level of safety. Safety features can be split into active and passive safety, where passive systems operate with no driver input, eg airbags, and active safety systems operate in interaction with the driver, eg electronic stability control.
Technology and vehicle design has made a real difference to road safety but there is still more to be done. Real success will depend on all parts of the industry working together to ensure safer vehicles continue to be delivered.