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In recent years, the number of cars in Latin America homes has grown exponentially. To take advantage of this growing market, car companies are offering cheap models to attract more customers into their showrooms.
Some of Latin America’s best selling cars pose high risks of life-threatening injuries and are considered to be two decades behind on safety when compared to cars sold in Europe and North America.
The Uruguay based Latin New Car Assessment Program said in a report released in Sao Paolo, that cars from four manufacturers pose the most risk to its occupants. The manufacturers and their models are the Chevrolet Celta, Corsa Classic and Cruz, the Nissan March and Tiida hatchback, the Fiat Novo Uno (pictured) and the Ford Focus and Ka. These cars provide a one-star safety rating rather than five-star provided by cars sold in Europe and North America. Poor safety standards and ever growing traffic in these markets are resulting in many traffic fatalities.
Max Mosley, who is the chairman of the British based Global New Car Assessment Program says; “We are witnessing an unprecedented growth in automobile use in emerging markets like Brazil, China and India. Yet it is precisely in these countries where we face a growing death toll on the roads.”
The car companies mentioned in this report have not made any comment on these finding yet.
[Source: Detroit News]
The Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Program) has just released its latest crash test results of 10 2011 models, and nine vehicles take top spots by earning five star ratings.
Coming out on top are the Audi A6, the BMW X3, the Chevrolet Aveo and Chevrolet Orlando, the Citroën DS5, the Hyundai i40, the Opel Ampera, the VW Golf Cabriolet and Jetta. Coming in with four stars is the Kia Picanto, which does not come with standard Electronic Stability Control.
In the plug-in and electric category, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera earned top marks, and for child occupant protection, the Hyundai i40 and VW Jetta and Golf Cabriolet scored 86 percent. The Chevrolet Aveo and Chevrolet Orlando came out with good whiplash and adult occupant protection scores.
However, the Opel Ampera, Audi A6 and Citroën DS5 just met Euro NCAP’s 2011 pedestrian requirements for a five star rating. More stringent five star requirements will be put into place in 2012.
For can view all the test result scores on Euro NCAP’s website.
The 2011 and 2012 Nissan Leaf for earned five stars in crash testing performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
For the front crash and dynamic rollover test, the Leaf received four stars, but overall scored five stars. Combine that with the Top Safety Pick Award it won from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and you’ve got yourself one safe vehicle. It’s also important to note that the Leaf is the first pure electric vehicle to be evaluated for its crash protection.
Fewer cars have made the cut ever since the NHTSA implemented more rigid standards for vehicles to earn five stars in its safety ratings system in 2011. This new system includes a more comprehensive testing when it comes to front and side crash, and rollover resistance. As well, each model receives an overall vehicle score, which is combined with the results of the three tests and compares them to the injury risk in other vehicles.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Children are precious cargo and their safety is always top of mind when you’re driving. And Ford knows this – that’s why the automaker is making headway in the research into one of the first research projects to build a digital human model of a child.
This digital model will feature lifelike re-creations of a child’s skeletal structure, internal organs and brain and could one day serve as a digital dummy for computer crash testing. A decade in the making, researchers have used child MRIs to replicate body parts and organs so they better understand how a crash affect children and adults differently.
“We study injury trends in the field, and we know that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people from age 1 to 34,” said Dr. Steve Rouhana, Senior Technical Leader for Safety, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We want to better understand how injuries to younger occupants may be different. A child’s body is very different from an adult’s. Building a digital human model of a child will help us design future systems that offer better protection for our young passengers.”
But don’t expect the result to come anytime soon, as building this kind of a model is intricate work. In fact, Ford began work on the adult human body model in 1993 and didn’t complete it until 2004. It’s also important to note that digital models are used in research and don’t replace of crash dummies. These digital models help researchers understand how to improve restraint system effectiveness through better understanding of injury mechanisms.
Drivers will feel safer driving their 2011 models, thanks to the new crash tests that are now being implemented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
These new crash test features, which were released to the public a few weeks back, boast enhanced 5-Star Safety Ratings System for new vehicles. Also just released were the safety ratings for the first model year 2011 vehicles tested under the program. Now included in the new ratings system are side pole crash testing and crash prevention-technologies. These tests also mark the first time female crash test dummies are to be used in crash scenarios.
Just like the old testing system, vehicles are rated from 1 to 5 stars (1 star being the lowest and 5 stars the highest). Under the old guidelines, lots of vehicles got 5 stars, but not so with the new system, as these standards are much stricter. This also means that not all previously rated 5-star vehicles will remain at 5 stars.
This new 5-Star Safety Ratings System evaluates the safety of passenger cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks, and they will be tested in three broad (frontal crash, side crash, and rollover resistance). Starting with the 2011 model year, the NHTSA will rate 24 passenger cars, 20 sport utility vehicles, two vans and nine pickups under the new ratings system.
“We want consumers to embrace these new safety technologies as a way to make vehicles safer,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland. “We believe electronic stability control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning offer significant safety benefits and consumers should consider them when buying a new car.”
The addition of an Overall Vehicle Score is one of the most significant changes to the ratings program. This score combines the results of a frontal crash test, side crash tests and rollover resistance tests and compares those results to the average risk of injury and potential for vehicle rollover of other vehicles.
[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety]
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently implemented a revised test procedure for it’s 5-star New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) vehicle safety rating system and now, has issued results conducted with four 2011 model year pickup trucks – the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tacoma.
NHTSA’s new NCAP test results are calculated using the probabilities of injury in determining frontal, side and rollover ratings, but now incorporate different sized dummies for more ‘accurate’ measuring and a new side impact ‘pole test’ as part of the program. The results of the crash tests are awarded ‘stars’ based on the ‘level’ of injury risk related to a defined average from those individual front, side and roll-over tests – five stars being the best above average, one star being the worst.
And based on those ratings, among the four trucks tested, the Silverado/Sierra scored the highest overall rating – earning an average ‘four-stars’ for occupant safety – including a 5-star award for driver frontal crash protection on extended cab models and five-stars for side impact testing – including the new pole test that simulates the impact of hitting a pole or tree at 20 mph, just behind the A-pillar. Rollover ratings were 4-stars on both trucks.
The Toyota Tacoma also received an overall ’4-star’ rating but didn’t fare as well as GM twins in frontal and side impact testing.
The 2011 Ram 4×4 garnered a 3-star safety rating largely due to average ratings in frontal driver and passenger protection and just a one-star rating in the new pole test, though interestingly, two-wheel drive Rams tested were awarded an overall NCAP rating of 4-stars.
NHTSA is the first to indicate that because of the changes in the new tests, like adding different sized dummies and the pole test, direct comparison between the 2011 and 2010 NCAP tests can’t be drawn, though it will be interesting to see how some of other pickups on the market will fare in the tests, particularly the current F-150 and the compact Ranger.
The government-run tests were the first that employed a “female” crash-test dummy, and a direct crash into a pole. The vehicles were rated from 1 to 5 stars, which are based on a weighted average of risk of injury in the front and side crashes and rollover resistance compared to other vehicles. The only vehicles to earn 5 stars were Hyundai and BMW, and were among the first 34 vehicles tested this new way.
These new tests were put in place in order to give shoppers more information, since high scores had become so common.”More stars equal safer cars,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Through new tests, better crash data and higher standards, we are making the safety ratings tougher and more meaningful for consumers.”
Most surprising were the results for the 2011 Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in the U.S. that got just 3 stars overall (the 2010 model, which was nearly identical, got top scores last year). The only other car to get a 3-star rating was the Camry Hybrid.
Placing at the bottom was the 2011 Nissan Versa, which was also the only vehicle to score just 2 stars overall. The blame of this poor score, says Nissan, is the Versa’s old design, and the company is working on ways to improve the car’s crash-test scores without a full redesign. The automaker believes that the 2011 Juke, which is based on the Versa platform, should score higher as it’s a newer iteration.
As for the rest of the vehicles, the remaining 2011 vehicles that were tested ranked with 4 stars overall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is planning on testing 22 more 2011 models.
See after the jump for the full list of models tested under the new 2011 rules:
They are great to putter around the neighborhood in, or zip to the store to pick up a few groceries. But low-speed vehicles (LSV) and mini-trucks are no match for regular traffic when it comes to an accident.
Recent crash tests preformed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) illustrate what happens when the two types of vehicle collide – and the results aren’t pretty. Although many states allow LSVs (also known as neighborhood electric vehicles) to share the road with regular traffic because they reduce emissions and cut fuel use, they don’t have to meet the basic safety standards that cars and pickups do.
“By allowing LSVs and minitrucks on more and more kinds of roads, states are carving out exceptions to 40 years of auto safety regulations that save lives,” says David Zuby, the IIHS’s chief research officer. “It’s a troubling trend that flies in the face of the work insurers, automakers, and the federal government have done to reduce crash risk.”
You can find LSVs pretty much everywhere in the U.S., on any road with a speed limit of 35 mph or lower. Their rapid surge in popularity is evident, with drivers and policy makers alike. In eight years, the number of states that allow LSVs on the road as risen from just over a dozen states to 46. Primarily intended for recreational purposes within retirement or other planned communities with golf courses, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) set the standard for LSVs in 1998. It’s important to note that mini-trucks weren’t even on the radar when these standards were introduced
Both types of vehicles are now allowed to share the same roads as other cars, trucks and SUVs, so it’s no surprise that no good will come when the two types collide with regular traffic. If you’re planning on purchasing an LSV or mini-truck, Zuby recommends spending more on a standard pickup to get crash protection and a vehicle that’s suitable to drive on all roads. If you’ looking to shrink you environmental footprint, a better choice for regular traffic is a crashworthy hybrid like the Toyota Prius or another fuel-efficient car.
[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]