Electronic stability control could soon become part of Euro NCAP
The successful Euro NCAP crash test programme, set up to test car reliability and reduce road traffic accidents and accident claims, could include electronic stability control (ESC) in future.
The crash tests analyse in detail car safety features for adults and children in available car models, along with features that could cause pedestrian personal injuries in a car accident.
"We are always looking for the next area to investigate," an NCAP insider told CAR Online. "We hope to get a whiplash rating out soon, and to expand into primary safety by examining stability control systems."
The plan to include ESC in car accident tests will empower car buyers even further and make it more possible for them to select a car that will restore its own balance when necessary and reduce the number of crashes and subsequent accident claims.
Rear-end shunts that cause whiplash are extremely common, and personal injuries requiring an accident claim can be reduced with active head restraints. These move forwards when deceleration occurs, reducing jerky forces affecting a sufferer's neck.
Weather conditions and human error are amongst the variables that can make it difficult to draw comparisons during crash testing between different types of ESC-equipped cars.
Pressure is growing to make ESC standard and leading car test and research companies in the industry, such as Thatcham, claim that by doing so, 400 lives and 3,000 serious personal injuries could be reduced annually on British roads, along with the number of accident claims being cut significantly.
Manufacturers could plumb in the electronic safeguard to reduce road traffic accidents and accident claims for as little as £50 per car. Thatcham says that just 40 per cent of new cars sold in Britain have electronic stability control (ESC) compared with 60 per cent in Germany.
However, a spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders hit back at Thatcham, saying: "It's clear that electronic stability control saves lives. But Thatcham has plucked this figure of £50 out of the air.
"It says ESC saves 15 per cent on repairs too, so perhaps it should put its money where its mouth is and give those who specify ESC a discount on their insurance premiums.
"Then they can start talking to car manufacturers about including other active safety kits as part of insurance ratings, something we have demanded for years, but Thatcham has consistently refused to consider."
Whiplash car accident compensation claims
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