Britain got its second Euro NCAP-approved testing laboratory yesterday, when Thatcham Research was given official accreditation by the European vehicle safety body.
The approval means the results of Thatcham's tests will directly influence the safety ratings of the cars it handles.
Thatcham chief Peter Shaw said: 'Our work with Euro NCAP is an important step forward and takes Thatcham’s engagement with the automotive industry to a new level that will benefit car manufacturers, technology suppliers and, ultimately, vehicle owners and their insurers.'
Thatcham has been a member of Euro NCAP since 2004, contributing seat- and head restraint design knowledge to reduce whiplash injuries and provide a rating system for electronic stability control systems.
More recently, the centre devised tests and a rating system for automated braking systems, making it the lead research institute in Europe on such technology.
The centre will now carry out controlled collision tests including a frontal crash at 40mph; a 30mph side crash into a moving barrier; and a 19mph impact into a static pole.
Figures reveal that 60% of fatalities are caused by frontal crashes, while 25% are a result of a side impact – making protection systems such as curtain airbags vital life-saving technologies.
Play the video, below, to see the Volvo V40 going through collision testing
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