The consumer crash testing organisation Euro NCAP has warned of a ‘concerning’ trend towards heavier, more powerful and taller cars which ‘put other drivers at risk’, as it announced its latest group of test results.
Of the 11 cars rated in Euro NCAP’s final tests of the year, only three weigh less than two tonnes, and only one, the smart #3, is classified as a small family car.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General Euro NCAP commented:
“For years, Euro NCAP was accused of pushing up the weight of cars. It was thought that additional safety features meant extra mass. That was never really the case and the increase in vehicle weight we see nowadays is certainly not safety-related – it is down to consumer preference for larger vehicles and to electrification, with ever bigger batteries being used to quell consumers’ range anxiety. But this is a trend that helps neither safety nor the environment: big, heavy cars are generally less energy efficient than small, light ones, and there is a safety concern when those two types of vehicles collide or, worse, when vulnerable road users are involved.”
A report published by VIAS Institute in Belgium in September warned that the trend towards heavier, higher, more powerful cars and pickups has serious consequences for drivers of smaller vehicles as well as pedestrians and cyclists.