Are You Ready to Buy a Car with NCAP Safety Ratings?
Last year, in December 2018, Tata Nexon became first made in India car to achieve 5-star ratings from Global NCAP. This achievement not only earned praise for TATA Motors but also created an alert among other automotive manufacturers. A few years back, Global NCAP tested Indian top selling cars for safety. The results were depressing. None of the cars had the ability to withstand a major crash. Quality of car manufacturing was questioned. No. of deaths in road fatalities was significant. Government has declared its own program to test cars for crash safety. But thanks to Global NCAP the change has been possible. Global NCAP’s role has been pivotal in implementing safety features in the car.
Global NCAP (NCAP stands for New Car Assessment Programme) is a major project by ‘Towards Zero Foundation’ charity in the UK. This organization is working internationally for a world, free from road fatalities and life-changing serious injuries by promoting safe and sustainable mobility. The Global NCAP team is currently working on the ‘Safest Car in Africa’ project to create awareness about crash safety in South Africa. The origin of the NCAP rating programme was way back in 1979 in the USA. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) developed NCAP to build safer vehicles for consumers. After the launch of US – NCAP, other countries initiated their own safety regulation programmes like ANCAP in Australia, Euro NCAP, Japan NCAP, ASEAN NCAP, China NCAP, and Latin NCAP.
Global NCAP tests vehicle for the front off-set crash. A front offset crash test designed to simulate a head-on collision between cars. In the Global NCAP test, the car is driven at 64kph and with 40 per cent overlap into a deformable barrier which is the equivalent of a crash between two cars of the same weight, both moving at 50kph. Euro NCAP, for instance, conducts full frontal, front offset, side impact and side pole tests. Global NCAP ratings are based on ‘Adult Occupant Protection & Child Occupant Protection’. Crash test dummies are used in occupant testing.
If the occupant has more chance of getting injured in a fatal car crash than the vehicle is rated one star; if he has less chance of getting injured than the car may be rated 4 or more stars. Global NCAP has stated that driver side airbag is the minimum requirement to qualify for a one-star rating. All cars without driver side airbag were rated zero. Global NCAP has adopted a road map for 2020 UN safety regulations. Under these regulations, all cars manufactured or imported in UN will have mandatory regulations like Front & Side Impact test, Seat belt & Anchorages, Electric Stability Control, Pedestrian Protection, Motorcycle Anti-lock brakes and Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems.
Mr David Ward praised the Indian Government for various initiatives launched to reduce road fatalities. The campaign ‘Safest Cars For India’ yield good result for Global NCAP. Along with Tata Nexon, Mahindra Marazzo, Tata Zest, Toyota Etios, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Breeza also earned 4-star ratings for occupant safety. India still needs ESC i.e. Electric Stability Control and pedestrian protection regulation instilled in cars in the near future. To achieve 5-star ratings from Global NCAP, ESC will be mandatory by the end of 2020. Child restraint seat should become mandatory by 2020 in India. The overall road fatality rate is already higher in India. With the new safety rating programme initiated by the government, the cars will have to face stringent safety tests. We all should encourage the government to adopt new regulations and make automakers build safer cars for consumers.