In the wake of UN Global Road Safety Week 2013 (6-12 May) which put pedestrian safety under the spotlight, the IAM is urging the Government and car makers to prioritise making the front of vehicles more ‘pedestrian-friendly’.
According to the IAM, the Government should take the lead in lobbying the European Commission and car manufacturers to make radical changes so that vulnerable road users can get the same five-star protection as those sitting in the vehicle.
While the number of deaths and serious injuries among car occupants fell in 2011, the figures increased for pedestrians and cyclists.
The IAM also highlights that since 2006, car occupants’ deaths and serious injuries have fallen by 35% but for pedestrians the fall is just 16%, while cyclist deaths and serious injuries have increased by 31%.
Car occupants benefit increasingly from the high standards of crash protection brought about by the Euro NCAP crash testing programme, ensuring there are more four and five-star cars on the market. However, improvements to the front of vehicles that would benefit pedestrians and cyclists in a collision have simply not kept pace, claims the IAM.
IAM research shows that the average Euro NCAP rating for car occupants in super minis in the last three years is 82% while for pedestrians it is 53%. The IAM calls for a focus on bringing pedestrian safety up to the level now enjoyed by car occupants.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “While the people in the car are much safer, in the case of a crash with a pedestrian or cyclist, the front of the car is not as forgiving.
“Much more can and should be done through car design to minimise the damage caused by hard metal on soft tissue.”
For more information contact the IAM.