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Van safety Features could save many more lives

16 December 2020

Fourteen commercial vans qualify for an award by Euro NCAP under new criteria that prioritize crash avoidance and driver assistance systems.  Nineteen vans, covering 98 percent of European sales last year, were tested in accordance with Euro NCAP 2018 Safety Assist protocols, that include AEB, Lane Support, Speed Assistance and Occupant State Monitoring.

The new ratings encourage wider fitment of ADAS on commercial vans, show differences between brands in the systems’ performance and will help fleet operator and business owners to make safer choices.  For the benefit of commercial van drivers and all road users, Euro NCAP calls for:

Standardisation of safety equipment on commercial vans ahead of the General Safety Regulation which is still some years away

Better performance of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on commercial vans, to match the state-of-the-art technology fitted to cars

Fleet operators to take responsibility for the safety of their drivers and to demand a minimum silver-level performance in Euro NCAP’s new ranking scheme when making purchasing decisions

Greater clarity from van manufacturers, on websites and in marketing material, regarding the safety features available on their vehicles.

These new Van Safety Rating launched by Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP  encourage manufacturers to fit more lifesaving collision avoidance technology to their vehicles as standard after tests for a new Commercial Van Safety Rating revealed some alarming results.

Out of 19 vans tested – representing 98% of new van sales in 2019 – the Renault Master, Nissan NV400, Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Movano and Fiat Talento all disappointed and emerged with a ‘Not Recommended’ rating.

Only Volkswagen’s Transporter, the Ford Transit, and the Mercedes-Benz Vito were awarded a ‘Gold’ rating. Five others were rated ‘Silver’ and six ‘Bronze’.

Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research Director of Research, said: “This first batch of test results show the fitment of crucial safety technology on vans is woefully low. It’s a serious issue that needs addressing urgently, particularly with van numbers increasing and the continued surge in demand for home deliveries during the pandemic and before Christmas.”

Data from 2018 showed vans were involved in more accidents that resulted in fatal injuries to other road users, per mile travelled, than any other type of vehicle on the UK’s roads. Between 2013 and 2018, collisions involving vans were responsible for a 14% increase in the number of serious injuries to pedestrians, car occupants, and van occupants. Cyclist casualties also rose by 22%.

Further information is available here .

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