COMMENT: Euro NCAP Commercial Van ratings bring collision severity onto the radar

Today, Euro NCAP, the voluntary vehicle safety programme, released updated ratings for 18 commercial vans. The vans’ ‘active’ crash avoidance systems were tested against tougher new protocols, resulting in a variety of safety awards from ‘Gold’ through to ‘Not Recommended’.

Automotive risk intelligence company Thatcham Research is the UK’s only Euro NCAP accredited testing centre, and its chief research strategy officer Matthew Avery offered a view on these latest safety results:

“As a society, our reliance on commercial vans shows no sign of declining anytime soon. When one of the millions of vans on UK roads is involved in a collision, impact severity tends to be higher than that of a passenger vehicle, which is why Euro NCAP’s rating is focused on the performance of safety technologies that avoid or mitigate crashes.

“With 13.5% of the whole vehicle fleet comprising of vans, it’s important that van drivers, and those sharing the roads with them, are protected. This latest set of results demonstrates that manufacturers are responding positively and it’s of note that the UK’s most popular commercial van, the Ford Transit, secured a ‘Gold’ rating.

“However, the fitment of crash avoidance technology seen on vans has some way to go before gaining parity with the high levels of standard fitment we enjoy on cars today.”

HGV rating scheme great news for road safety

Euro NCAP also announced that it will soon introduce a rating scheme for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

Avery comments: “This is great news for road safety. HGVs make up a very small percentage of the fleet (1.5%), but their contribution to Killed and Seriously Injured statistics is disproportionately high (15%), with 90% being external to the vehicle. Although fitment of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) to HGVs has been mandatory since 2015, the new rating will drive best practice with an urgent focus on HGVs not only matching, but exceeding, the performance levels of AEB on passenger vehicles.

“The rating will also assess and drive fitment of the full suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and will exceed new EU ‘General Safety Regulation 2’ requirements.”


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