ANCAP raises the bar on vehicle safety

If you are a fleet manager interested in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your drivers, you may be interested to learn that the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has just raised the bar on vehicle crash testing standards.

In a statement released January 18, ANCAP chief executive officer Nicholas Clarke confirmed that the ANCAP Rating Road Map - which determines the minimum safety standard a vehicle is required to achieve in order to reach a certain star rating - has now been modified.

"Vehicles rated by ANCAP in 2013 must meet stricter requirements in order to reach the five star safety standard," said Mr Clarke.

The news means that vehicles aiming for a maximum five star rating will now be required to not only achieve a minimum score in the relevant physical crash tests, but will also be required to feature certain safety equipment and technology designed to protect vehicle occupants and pedestrians.

The ANCAP has long encouraged Australian motorists to only consider purchasing vehicles with a maximum five star rating, in order to ensure they are driving a car which is designed with the safety of every Australian in mind.

If your organisation is looking at procuring new fleet vehicles in the future, it may be worthwhile considering the ANCAP star rating of each prospective model in order to ensure you are making the right purchasing decision.

It's also worth keeping in mind that a fleet services provider can assist with the process of vehicle procurement, by providing a thorough whole-of-life cost assessment of each car.

Meanwhile, the ANCAP has also delivered its first set of vehicle ratings for 2013, with the Subaru Forester, the Opel Corsa and the Volvo V40 all recently being evaluated by the organisation.

All three models achieved five star ratings under the new, stricter assessment process, although Mr Clarke noted that the V40 was the "stand-out performer" in this ratings release.

"The V40 is equipped with a lengthy list of SAT including a world-first bonnet airbag system. Sensors detect when a pedestrian has been struck, lifts the bonnet and fires the airbag to provide greater head protection," explained Mr Clarke.

"The airbag covers the windscreen pillars and lower portion of the windscreen. It operates over a range of speeds and can detect different pedestrian statures," he added.