Of the three models tested, both the Honda FR-V people carrier and new Suzuki Swift achieved a coveted three stars for pedestrian-friendly design. The new Peugeot 1007 supermini won the highest-ever combined NCAP score on measures that assess occupant, child and pedestrian safety.
'These results demonstrate the industry-wide commitment to improving new car safety', said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan. 'Better NCAP results show that the newest models have been designed to limit the effect of an accident on drivers, their passengers and, increasingly, pedestrians.'
He added, 'However, delivering safer cars is not just about performing well in crash tests. Preventing a crash is more important than limiting its impact, and we need to encourage more focus on the investment made in active safety systems. Technologies like stability and traction control systems, assisted braking and parking sensors are fitted as standard to a growing army of new models.'
As a voluntary step, manufacturers agreed to fit ABS as standard to all new models made from 1 July 2004. In addition, rigid bull bars are no longer fitted to new cars, one of a number of design measures to deliver safer front ends including softer bonnets and crash compatibility measures.