Crash tests have been carried out for the 20th anniversary of the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) to prove how far car safety has come under the scheme – and the results are quite remarkable.
The tests by Thatcham Research saw a 1997 Rover 100 and a 2017 Honda Jazz dealing with the same 40mph head-on collision.
The Rover was given a one star rating when it was tested after the scheme commenced in February 1997 and was withdrawn from sales months later – and the results clearly showed the five-star rated Honda and its passengers came off significantly better in the impact.
The safety rating programme initially faced opposition from manufacturers when it was created, but today nine out of 10 cars sold in Europe have a Euro NCAP rating.
The research centre said such testing meant there’s been a 63% reduction in the number of car occupants killed or seriously injured each year – down from 23,000 in 1997 to 8,500 in 2015.
“Twenty years on from what started as a controversial programme, rejected by manufacturers and supposedly aiming for unrealistic safety standards, Euro NCAP is now firmly part of the automotive mainstream,” said Formula One boss Max Mosley.
“Thousands of fatalities have been prevented, consumer demand for safety is high, manufacturers compete on safety rating results and vehicle safety standards continue to improve.”