Crash tests get stricter, making it far harder than before for cars to gain the top safety score of five Euro NCAP stars.

The Euro NCAP safety organisation has toughened its safety ratings for new cars. From now on, cars will have to offer strong protection for child passengers and also to pedestrians if they are to gain a coveted five-star rating.

Euro NCAP first published results for cars 12 years ago and has earned praise for the improvements in car safety that it has made possible. And over time it has refined the tests, reflecting the way cars have developed so that six airbags, anti-lock brakes and some form of traction/stability control is now fitted as standard are now commonly fitted to ordinary cars.

And while Euro NCAP has latterly rated cars on their ability to protect child passengers and also pedestrians, it has previously been possible for a car to earn five stars for adult protection and yet score poorly on other fronts.

Now, any car must perform well overall before it earns top marks. It will also need to feature seat belt reminders and also stability control on all but entry-level models if it is to gain five stars.

Stephen Jury


February 19, 2009

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