ETSC: How safe are new cars sold in the EU?

By News Editor / Updated: 03 Nov 2016
Date of publishing: 
01 Mar 2016
European Sources

Although European roads still claim too many fatalities and seriously injured, the long-term safety trend has been positive.  Among others, improved vehicle safety standards since the late 1990s have played an important role.

Improvements in the safety of new vehicles in Europe have been driven by mandatory EU and UNECE safety requirements for new vehicles - and by Euro NCAP, a voluntary consumer-testing organisation that carries out its own tests of many vehicles that sell in large numbers and awards safety ratings to them. 

One important indicator of the level of vehicle safety in Europe is the proportion of the number of tested vehicles actually sold meet Euro NCAP’s highest safety ratings. The last assessment of the progress of the Euro NCAP programme carried out by the ETSC in 2009, found that there were very significant differences between the average Euro NCAP rating of new cars sold in eastern and central European countries, compared to their western European counterparts.

This report shows an analysis of the penetration levels of different Euro NCAP ratings in 2015 throughout the EU. It provides recommendations for EU member states, the institutes and car manufacturers and information that could be valuable, for example, developing local traffic safety policies. 

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