The Three Life-Saving Questions That New Car Buyers Must Ask

  • Choosing a car that has the full range of safety features as standard will ensure optimum protection and help reduce the number of crashes and deaths on UK roads
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking leads the way as a must-have feature on any new car
  • Carmakers and dealers should be making it easier for consumers to understand what advanced driver assistance systems do and why they are important – as well as being absolutely clear about which cars have the highest standard safety specification

Four major automotive names will join forces at the London Motor Show as part of the Global NCAP #STOPTHECRASH partnership to ensure that consumers considering buying a new car know the life-saving questions they must ask their dealer before making their choice, namely:

1. What Euro NCAP test rating does this car have?

2. Is Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) fitted to this car - and is it standard?

3. What else should I do to maximise the safety protection offered by this car?

By providing visitors to the show with these three key questions the partnership consisting of Thatcham Research, Bosch, Continental and ZF TRW hope to help reduce the annual UK toll of 100,000 rear end crashes and to make certain that consumers ensure the highest level of safety on their next car.

The evidence in favour of AEB is unequivocal. A report released by Euro NCAP in 2015 found that Autonomous Braking systems were responsible for a 38 per cent reduction in real-world rear-end crashes. Despite these statistics – and the fact that vehicle manufacturers have made good progress in making the technology available – AEB is currently only standard fit on 17% of new cars currently on sale in the UK.

“Autonomous Emergency Braking as standard should be the number one priority for anyone choosing a new car,” stated David Ward, Secretary-General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP). “The technology is already available in one form or another from almost every car manufacturer and in the absence of legislation to make it mandatory, we are encouraging consumers to use their power of choice to ensure that every new car coming onto the road has this life-saving feature fitted.”

Demonstrations showing the safety advantage provided by Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) will run throughout the show and visitors to the #STOPTHECRASH stand will be able to check which new cars have AEB as standard using an online resource that is hosted on the Thatcham Research website www.thatcham.org/aeb-fitment this is regularly updated to reflect improvements in safety specification.

Tyres: the only point of contact between vehicles and the road

Tyre safety will also be highlighted, with representatives from Continental on hand to demonstrate the effect that low tread depth can have. The UK legal limit for tread depth is 1.6mm, yet tests show tyres only perform at 55% efficiency with this amount of wear.

Continental recommends replacing tyres when tread depth reaches 3mm as a responsible compromise between safety, economics and driver confidence, and is focused on educating drivers on the reasons why this is important: research* indicates that 40 per cent of drivers have never checked the tread of their tyres, choosing instead to wait for a service, while 20 per cent admit that they do not even know how to carry out a tyre check.

“Research shows that three quarters of all collisions occur at speeds under 20 mph,” commented David Ward. “Even the most basic AEB system in conjunction with sensible tyre safety could prevent the vast majority of these incidents.”

Helping Consumers to Understand Safety Features and Make the Right Choices

A recent survey** indicated that drivers are more likely to pay extra for satellite navigation and digital radio than they are to invest in safety features, a situation that #STOPTHECRASH believes has to change as a part of the move towards higher standards of road safety.

“Less than half of consumers are ticking the option box on safety features, which means a significant opportunity to save lives is being missed,” said Ward. “While the simplest way to increase uptake of safety technologies such as AEB is to make them standard on all new cars, better and more widely available information about how they work and the benefits they provide is the key to changing drivers’ attitudes and we believe that vehicle manufacturers and automotive retailers have a vital shared role to play in this respect.”

ENDS

Editor Notes

*Survey by Continental Tyres

**Survey of 981 motorists carried out for Whatcar.com Intelligence Report; research carried out Feb - March 2016

Media contacts:

Paul Chadderton, Communications Director at Market Engineering
paul.chadderton@m-eng.com  

t. +44 (0) 01295 277 050 m. +44 (0) 7717 282 103

Iain Wallace, Communications Executive at Thatcham Research
iain.wallace@thatcham.org  

t. +44 (0) 1635 293 153 m. +44 (0) 7876 755 615

About #STOPTHECRASH

Led by Global NCAP #STOPTHECRASH is a multi-stakeholder partnership which brings together the expertise, experience and resources of its public, private and civil society membership. All are united in their shared commitment to promote advanced vehicle safety technologies in support of the UN’s Global Goals and the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

About Global NCAP

Global NCAP is an independent UK registered charity serving as the global platform for New Car Assessment Programmes worldwide. Global NCAP has consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC), is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, and supports the UN Global Goals and Decade of Action for Road Safety.

www.globalncap.org

About Thatcham Research

As the UK’s only Euro NCAP accredited research centre and crash facility, Thatcham provide an important role in ensuring high standards in vehicle safety, security and crash repair on behalf of UK insurers. Thatcham are considered a worldwide centre of excellence in the testing and evaluation of active safety systems and autonomous driving technology. www.thatcham.org

About Bosch

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2014, its sales came to 33.3 billion euros, or 68 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions.

www.bosch.com

About Continental Tyres

Continental Tyres in the UK and Ireland is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Continental Corporation. With preliminary sales of approximately €39.2 billion in 2015, Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tyre manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. With its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tyre, and ContiTech. Continental employs approximately 208,000 people in 53 countries.

www.continental-tyres.co.uk

About ZF TRW

ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company acquired TRW Automotive on May 15, 2015 which was integrated into the organizational structure as the Active & Passive Safety Technology Division. The combined company has a global workforce of around 138,300 at about 230 locations in some 40 countries and reported sales of €29.2 billion in 2015. ZF annually invests approximately five percent of its sales in Research & Development (€1.4 billion in 2015) ensuring continued success through the design and engineering of innovative technologies. ZF is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide.

www.zf.com

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