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Tests to ensure cars are safe at the point of purchase

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When it comes to purchasing a new car, many people prioritise safety. Before the introduction of Euro NCAP car safety ratings in 1997, consumers were forced to rely on the reputation of manufacturers and the safety features fitted to each particular model. This issue was resolved when Euro NCAP began buying cars anonymously and carrying out independent tests to determine their levels of safety. A five star result, which is awarded to the safest cars, is now considered mandatory for all mass-market vehicles sold in Europe.

The tests incorporate four categories: adult, child, pedestrian and safety assist. The adult ratings determine how well a car protects a fully grown adult in the event of a collision. Frontal barrier impact, car to car side impact and pole impacts are all tested at different speeds along with a whiplash test on both the driver and front passenger seats.

There are two main criteria used to measure a car’s capacity to protect infants and toddlers. The first focuses on the same front and side tests used in the adult ratings, and the second tests how simply and efficiently the car can be fitted with a child’s car seat. Pedestrian protection involves simulating an accident with a child or adult at 25mph, measuring the impact on the lower and upper legs and head. Safety assist tests pop up bonnets, airbags, seatbelt reminder buzzers and electronic stability control programmes.

The last couple of years have seen the introduction of many new tests. These include the examination of systems that detect potential accidents and apply the emergency brakes, and others that are designed to reduce the chance of low and high-speed collisions.

Safety is of course an integral part of vehicle design and skilled staff are needed to design and install complex vehicular safety systems. As vehicular technology continues to progress, the automotive industry demands the finest employees at all levels. We specialise in industry leading recruitment for motor trade jobs and we can help our clients find the innovative individuals to design the safe and sophisticated cars of the future.