May
05
2014

Global NCAP urges Fleet Managers to opt for ‘five star’ safety

Melbourne, 5 May 2014… Global NCAP has published new guidelines for organisations operating vehicle fleets, recommending that they only buy ‘five star’ cars. The guidelines advise fleet purchasers to select vehicles that have been rated by New Car Assessment Programmes (NCAPs) with the much coveted ‘five star’ safety rating. Global NCAP also recommends that fleet managers confirm that the cars they purchase meet the most important minimum United Nations vehicle safety standards.

Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward said: “Any organization can improve safety by carefully selecting the vehicles it uses. Global NCAP encourages all fleet managers both public and private to make ‘five star’ safety their goal in the UN Decade of Action.”

For companies with global operations and fleets, the lack of regulation by governments in emerging markets and the absence of independent crash tests has become a real concern. Of the record level of 65 million new passenger cars built last year, as many as a third would fail to pass the UN’s front and side crash tests, and do not have air bags, anti-lock brake systems (ABS) or electronic stability control (ESC). “By following Global NCAP’s new guidelines,” said Ward, “it will be easier for organisations to ensure that the safety of their vehicle fleet provides acceptable levels of protection to their employees.”

Motivated by a combination of duty of care for employees, corporate social responsibility and effective cost controls, a growing number of organisations are introducing fleet safety policies and selecting only five-star cars for their employees. BHP Billiton, the world’s largest resource extraction company, and the Governments of Australia and Sweden have already adopted this policy.

This approach is consistent with the recommendations of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety launched in 2011, which encourages “managers of government and private sector fleets to purchase, operate and maintain vehicles that offer advanced safety technologies and high levels of occupant protection”. Global NCAP’s guidelines will also help organisations wishing to adopt the new road traffic safety standard ISO 39001, which identifies vehicle safety as a significant factor for fleet operators seeking to reduce death and injury in road crashes.

As well as calling for ‘five star’ cars wherever possible, the guidelines propose that fleets ask manufacturers to confirm that the vehicle passes the minimum United Nations safety regulations concerning seat belts, and front and side crash tests. Vehicles that meet regulations for electronic stability control and pedestrian protection are also rated as “strongly preferred” and the new crash avoidance technology autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is “highly recommended”.

In a foreword to the guidelines, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Patron of the Commission for Global Road Safety, said: “By adopting Global NCAPs recommendations, organisations will ensure that their purchase decisions meet best practice in safety management and make an important contribution to the UN Decade of Action.”

Each year 1.3 million people are killed and up to 50 million injured in road crashes worldwide. By 2030 the World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts that road crashes will become the fifth leading cause of death, rising to 2.4 million fatalities per year. To try to avoid an inexorable rise in road injury the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. In April the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on road safety, which called on UN Member States to encourage the creation of NCAPs in all world regions. This decision represents a strong endorsement of the mission of Global NCAP, which is supporting the development of new NCAPs in both Asia and Latin America.

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About Global NCAP

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Global NCAP is an independent charity registered in the United Kingdom. It serves as a global platform for NCAPs around the world to exchange best practice in consumer orientated vehicle safety initiatives. Global NCAP also provides financial and technical assistance to new programmes in the rapidly motorizing countries and regions of Asia and Latin America. Global NCAP receives financial support from the FIA Foundation, from International Consumer Testing and Research, from the Road Safety Fund and the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility. Global NCAP supports the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration.

There are currently nine NCAP programmes or similar automobile consumer test organisations active across the world (ASEAN NCAP, Australasian NCAP, China NCAP, European NCAP, Japan NCAP, Korean NCAP, Latin NCAP, US NCAP and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.) NCAPs typically award stars based on a car’s performance in a variety of crash test assessments with ‘five stars’ representing a high score. Rather than award stars the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest accolade is its ‘Top Safety Pick’ rating. NCAP test scores are derived from the measurement of the loadings and decelerations that occur to the instrumented dummies during the crash. Most NCAPs use the same front and side impact crash tests as the UN regulations. However, in the frontal impact usually a higher test speed of 64 kph is applied. This is the speed at which fatalities are most common. Some NCAPs also include additional pole, whiplash, and pedestrian impact ratings and also increasingly include crash avoidance technologies such as ESC.

www.globalncap.org