More cars should be safer - report
Cars are not as safe as they should or could be, a new report claims. It says tax incentives by governments to make cars 'greener' have missed out on making them safer too.
It also claims that current crash tests are benefitting far too few road users and that the EU needs to overhaul its current regulations.
The report by the prestigious European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says taxation incentives for 'green' cars in countries such as Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands have failed to take sufficient account of safety too. And that has led to higher sales of cars with lower safety ratings, it argues.
The emphasis, it says, should be shifted to incentives for cars that are both 'clean and safe' - such as the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and electric Renault Zoe.
It says: "For almost 20 years, increases in levels of car safety in Europe have been driven mainly by the voluntary EuroNCAP programme which awards the safest cars with a 5-star rating.
"But according to new data, only around half of new vehicles sold in 2013 had been awarded five stars by Euro NCAP during the 2010-13 testing cycle."
It found that Volvo "outperformed all manufacturers, on average, in every field of vehicle safety including occupant, child and pedestrian protection as well as in safety-assist systems".