More cars should have life-saving technology
RoadSafe supported the annual eSafety Challenge, which called for more cars to have life-saving crash avoidance technologies installed.
New research presented at the Challenge, held in Milbrook, UK, on 13 July 2010 shows that despite rising awareness of life-saving crash avoidance technologies, too few cars have crucial eSafety systems fitted. Thousands of lives could be saved if these systems were more widely used.
Across the five biggest European markets, installation rates for eSafety systems such as the anti-skid device Electronic Stability Control (ESC) are still too low. In particular very few small cars have ESC installed as standard. In the mini class, the majority (83%) are sold without ESC, new figures show.
New cars today are much safer than they were 10-15 years ago thanks to improved crash test standards, crumple zones, seatbelts, and air bags which help protect occupants in a crash. Under the latest technological developments, so-called active safety systems can help prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
Devices such as ESC have the potential to save 4,000 lives and 100,000 injuries annually in Europe alone. In Germany, research shows that as much as €330 (£275) million could be saved by preventing small rear impact accidents and that almost three out of four rear impact accidents with injuries and fatalities could be avoided with the 100% introduction of Advanced Emergency Braking Systems.
Despite these findings, many businesses are allowing employees to drive company cars without eSafety systems. The result is that thousands of lives which could be saved, will be lost in preventable crashes, warns eSafetyAware. The problem is compounded by the fact that with company cars, duty of care features on only 28% of purchase policies, bellow other factors such as comfort, cost, and fuel economy.