IIHS: Motor vehicle safety improvements should be global
The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has published an article in the latest issue of its Status Report highlighting the inequalities in vehicle safety provided to customers around the world. The report focuses on the role that independent consumer testing will play in improving the situation.
“Without strong government safety regulations, automakers, including the big US, Japanese and European manufacturers, can sell cars in emerging markets that aren’t as safe as ones they sell in industrialized countries,” said the article. “At the same time, consumers may not realize that their vehicles won’t protect them in crashes as well as the same or similar models sold in other parts of the world because their countries don’t have crash test programs for consumer information.”
The report drew attention to the role of the Global New Car Assessment Programme, which aims to create safety marketplaces in underserved countries. The organisation encourages consumers to choose the highest-rated vehicles when possible and calls on manufacturers to “make a voluntary commitment to set a floor of minimum safety standards for the vehicles they produce worldwide.”
IIHS president Adrian Lund commented: “Vehicle ratings programs are working worldwide to reduce crash injuries and deaths. It’s remarkable how much progress we’ve seen in just the past 20 years. At first, automakers in the U.S. were reluctant to address design issues highlighted in tests. That changed as consumers started to factor safety into their purchase decisions. Now, manufacturers are quick to make changes in response to tougher crash tests.”
Read the full IIHS article.
Consumers may not realize that their vehicles won’t protect them in crashes as well as the same or similar models sold in other parts of the world