New initiative to

cut car crashes

Autonomous Emergency Braking

FOUR leading names from the automotive industry are set to join forces at this week's London Motor Show in a bid to cut car crashes.

The link-up is part of the Global NCAP #STOPTHECRASH partnership to ensure that people buying a new car know the life-saving questions they should ask the dealer before making their choice.

The top three considerations are the Euro NCAP test rating achieved by the car, whether the vehicle has Autonomous Emergency Braking and what else should the buyer do to maximise the safety protection offered by the car?

By providing visitors to the show with these key questions the partnership - Thatcham Research, Bosch, Continental and ZF TRW - hope to help reduce the annual UK toll of 100,000 rear end crashes and make certain consumers ensure the highest level of safety on their next car.

A report released by Euro NCAP last year found that Autonomous Braking systems were responsible for a 38 per cent reduction in rear-end crashes.

Despite the stats, and the fact that vehicle manufacturers have made good progress in making the technology available, AEB is only standard fit on 17% of new cars currently on sale in the UK.

David Ward, secretary-general of the Global New Car Assessment Programme, said: "Autonomous Emergency Braking as standard should be the number one priority for anyone choosing a new car. "The technology is already available in one form or another from almost every car manufacturer and in the absence of legislation to make it mandatory, we are encouraging consumers to use their power of choice to ensure that every new car coming onto the road has this life-saving feature fitted."

Demonstrations showing the safety advantage provided by AEB will run throughout the show and visitors to the #STOPTHECRASH stand will be able to check which new cars have AEB as standard.

Tyre safety will also be highlighted, with representatives from Continental on hand to demonstrate the effect that low tread depth can have.

The UK legal limit for tread depth is 1.6mm, yet tests show tyres only perform at 55% efficiency with this amount of wear.

Continental recommends replacing tyres when tread depth reaches 3mm as a responsible compromise between safety, economics and driver confidence, and is focused on educating drivers on the reasons why this is important.

A recent survey indicated that drivers are more likely to pay extra for sat-nav and digital radio than they are to invest in safety features, a situation that #STOPTHECRASH believes has to change as a part of the move towards higher standards of road safety.

"Less than half of consumers are ticking the option box on safety features, which means a significant opportunity to save lives is being missed," added Ward.

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