More than 182,000 killed and serious injuries have been saved on UK roads since revolutionary Euro NCAP car safety tests were launched 20 years ago. This equates to 15,000 per annum.
The tests, introduced in February 1997 and in the face of fierce motor industry opposition, exposed hidden dangers in top-selling family cars, forcing a fundamental rethink in the way vehicles were designed to prevent injuries and save lives. Twenty years on, 9 out of 10 cars sold on the European market hold a Euro NCAP rating.
Today, as the results of a crash-test between two family cars built 20 years apart (a 1997 Rover 100 and a current Honda Jazz) underline major advances in vehicle safety, Thatcham Research, who conduct UK tests for Euro NCAP, estimates that advances driven by rigorous testing has helped deliver a 63 per cent reduction in car occupants killed and seriously injured, from 23,000 in 1997 to 8,500 in 2015.
Over the same period the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured has fallen by 40 per cent, from 14,500 in 1997 to 8,500 in 2015.
Thatcham Research is marking the 20th anniversary by urging consumers to further boost Britain’s road safety record by making a commitment to buy only models with a five star Euro NCAP rating and a collision avoidance technology like AEB and Lane Assist systems. They also called on manufacturers to make AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) standard fitment, to prevent thousands of accidents.