AutosIIHS and Euro NCAP raise the bar for vehicle safety standards

IIHS and Euro NCAP raise the bar for vehicle safety standards

American crash tests are in some respects more rigorous than European ones.
American crash tests are in some respects more rigorous than European ones.
Images source: © Press materials | IIHS
9:36 AM EDT, March 10, 2024

Meanwhile, Euro NCAP has announced significant updates. Starting in 2024, their evaluation process will extend beyond assessing vehicle safety features. It will now consider the potential distractions caused by transferring essential driver functions to touchscreen displays. In the United States, similar progressive changes are underway. The IIHS has declared that achieving either a complete (Top Safety Pick+) or a partial (Top Safety Pick) endorsement for car models will become more challenging.

The IIHS plans to introduce new assessment criteria in addition to the established ones. From 2024, a vehicle must secure at least 3 out of 4 points in the pedestrian avoidance test to earn any recommendation. This criterion is important, especially considering it includes the performance of systems designed to prevent pedestrian collisions at night. The IIHS administers these tests in various conditions, including after dark, with two distinct scenarios outlined.

In the first scenario, a pedestrian is positioned at the road's edge while the tested vehicle approaches at speeds of 25 mph, followed by 37 mph. In the second scenario, a dummy representing an adult steps onto the roadway as the car moves at speeds of 12 mph and then 25 mph, mirroring real-world situations more closely. Euro NCAP limits its nighttime testing to instances involving a pedestrian standing on the road.

New IIHS criteria also stipulate improved protection measures for backseat passengers. This is assessed during frontal collision tests, where dummies that simulate passengers in the second row are utilized, and their resultant injuries are meticulously evaluated.

Given the United States' vast influence in shaping global automotive standards, these stricter safety requirements could motivate car manufacturers worldwide to adhere to American regulations across all markets. Consequently, Europeans might also benefit from these enhanced safety measures.

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