14 Aug 2012

Continuous development in crash testing

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) today gave its support for the continuous development of crash testing following the release of findings of a new small overlap frontal crash test by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.

The small overlap frontal crash test is the latest addition to the IIHS’s suite of tests where 25 per cent of a vehicles’ front end - on the driver side - impacts with a rigid barrier at around 64 km/h. The test is designed to replicate a collision with another vehicle or object such as a tree or pole striking the front corner of the vehicle, and such a test is not currently conducted anywhere else in the US, Europe or Australia.

“ANCAP currently conducts a suite of five internationally recognised safety tests including a 40 per cent frontal offset crash test. We are monitoring developments in vehicle safety and the crash testing field worldwide so that we can incorporate best practice into our Australasian test regime,” said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh.

“ANCAP continues to see new models entering the Australasian market that do not perform well in current ANCAP crash tests, so it is important to continue with these.”

“However, more demanding tests like the IIHS small overlap frontal crash test would complement the suite of ANCAP tests and discourage manufacturers from tuning the design of vehicles to a particular crash test,” he said.

The other existing ANCAP tests include the side impact test; pole test; pedestrian test; and whiplash test. Roof crush testing to measure the roof strength in rollover crashes will commence as part of ANCAP testing from 2014.

ANCAP is working with New Car Assessment Programs around the world and has assisted in convening a technical meeting next month in Japan to discuss closer alignment of test procedures globally.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, all Australian state governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

For a full list of ANCAP safety ratings and model specifications, and vehicle safety information visit ancap.com.au.

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