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​Drivers challenged to make car safety a ‘deal-breaker’

Press Release   •   May 04, 2017 09:01 BST

The Stop the Crash partnership calls for urgent industry action to address the car safety conundrum
  • Four in five motorists say that safety technologies are important when buying a car
  • But a fifth – 9m drivers – refuse to pay extra for safety features even if it reduces the chance of having an accident on the road
  • The Stop the Crash Partnership proposes a three point plan to inspire urgent action from the industry
  • Buyers must be persistent in discussing safety tech when purchasing a new car

UK motorists are today being urged by the Stop the Crash Partnership to make car safety a ‘deal-breaker’. This comes as a study revealed that although drivers say that safety is a high priority – second only to cost – when they actually purchase a car basic safety technologies like AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) lose out to upgraded infotainment systems.

The 2,000 consumer study also found that 83 per cent of motorists think that the best safety options should be fitted as standard and that as many as 9 million drivers are not willing to pay extra for them. Combine this with the appeal of ostensibly more tangible add-ons and the fact that dealers seldom have cars with extra safety features on the forecourt, and it’s apparent why the take up of safety options remains low, at just 3.5[1] per cent.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, a Stop the Crash Partnership member alongside Bosch UK, Continental Tyres UK and ZF TRW said: “Our good safety intentions seem to evaporate on arriving at the dealership. There’s an urgent need to change the consumer mind-set to negotiate for the inclusion of additional safety options, if not standard, just as we would with other consumables or features. Especially when they can cost as little as £200. Safety should be a deal-breaker, not a nice to have.”

The view of the Stop the Crash Partnership is that if motorists can apply pressure by demonstrating that safety is a ‘deal-breaker’ to encourage more manufacturers to fit safety technology as standard, as well as understanding the importance of premium tyres with adequate levels of tread depth, the number of accidents worldwide would reduce. For example, it has been found that AEB can lead to a 38 per cent reduction in real-world rear-end crashes and has the potential to save 1,100 lives and more than 120,000 casualties over the next 10 years.

David Ward, Chairman of the Stop the Crash Partnership said, “Consumer awareness is critical for the adoption of Stop the Crash technologies. This research shows how important safety is to the consumer, but highlights how this often fails to translate into safety options being purchased in the showroom. Manufacturers must offer safety systems with proven ability to save lives as standard.”

AEB in Your Bonnet

Stop the Crash and its partners are attending the London Motor Show (5-7 May 2017) to demonstrate the life-saving capabilities of AEB technology to the public. It will also educate people about the legal tyre tread depth limit of 1.6mm and on significant stopping differences seen when driving on tyres with 3mm tread depth.

The London Motor Show will be the platform for the launch of a three point plan to address the low-take up of additional safety technologies:

1.AEB as standard: 83 per cent agreed that the best safety features should be fitted as standard. Stop the Crash supports this view and is calling on car manufacturers to fit AEB as standard on all new makes and models. At present only one of the ten best selling cars in the UK has standard fit AEB.

2.Safety stocked: vehicle manufacturers should review how readily available cars with safety tech such as AEB and Lane Keep Assist systems are to dealers – for test-drives, demonstrations and sales. This is an issue Avery has experienced first-hand, “Recently I visited a dealership to purchase a 5 star Euro NCAP-rated car. However, the dealer attempted to put me off when I insisted on an extra safety option, saying it would be a factory order likely to take 12 weeks.”

3.Dealer safety training: 76 per cent of consumers said they would expect a demonstration of the safety technologies on board when buying from a franchised dealership. Stop the Crash is therefore calling for vehicle manufacturers to invest more into training, so that dealers can explain safety technologies to consumers and successfully “sell safety.”

Avery added: “Motorists have a vital role in proving that safety sells and our message to them is to insist on safety as standard. We are taking this message to the London Motor Show, where we will demonstrate AEB to visitors – a technology which will be talked about in the same breath as the seatbelt in terms of its revolutionary impact on car safety. However, only one of 2017’s best-selling vehicles has AEB fitted as standard across all models.”

The London Motor Show takes place from 5-7 May (media only day 4 May) at Battersea Park, London. The Stop the Crash initiative can be found at the demonstration area near to the entrance outside.

The Stop The Crash Partnership is led by Global NCAP, a platform for new car assessments worldwide, along with its partners for the London Motor Show, Thatcham Research, Bosch UK, Continental Tyres UK and ZF TRW. It aims to raise awareness of the disparity between driver opinion and buying behaviour to reduce the number of people who die or are seriously injured on British roads[2].

--Ends--

Survey Methodology

The research is of 2,000 UK motorists conducted in April 2017. The 9 million drivers figure refers to a fifth of all registered drivers in Great Britain, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Editor’s notes

For more information please contact:

About the ‘Stop the Crash’ initiative

Led by Global NCAP, ‘Stop the Crash’ is a multi-stakeholder partnership which brings together the expertise, experience and resources of its public, private and civil society membership. All are united in their shared commitment to promote advanced vehicle safety technologies in support of the UN’s Global Goals and the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

#StopTheCrash

About Global NCAP

Global NCAP is an independent UK registered charity serving as the global platform for New Car Assessment Programmes worldwide. Global NCAP has consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC), is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, and supports the UN Global Goals and Decade of Action for Road Safety.

www.globalncap.org

About Thatcham Research

As the UK’s only Euro NCAP accredited research centre and crash facility, Thatcham provide an important role in ensuring high standards in vehicle safety, security and crash repair on behalf of UK insurers. Thatcham are considered a worldwide centre of excellence in the testing and evaluation of active safety systems and autonomous driving technology.

www.thatcham.org

About Continental Tyres

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and networked mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transport. In 2016, Continental generated sales of €40.5 billion and currently employs more than 227,000 people in 56 countries.

www.continental-tyres.co.uk

About Bosch

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. According to preliminary figures, its 2016 sales came to 44 billion euros, or 60 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

www.bosch.com

About ZF TRW

ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company has a global workforce of around 137,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. In 2016, ZF achieved sales of €35.2 billion. ZF annually invests about six percent of its sales in research & development – ensuring continued success through the design and engineering of innovative technologies. ZF is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide.

ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. With its technologies, the company is striving for Vision Zero – a world of mobility without accidents and emissions. With its broad portfolio, ZF is advancing mobility and services in the automobile, truck and industrial technology sectors.

www.zf.com

[1] From Thatcham Research dealership survey 2016

[2] Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reported_Road_Casualties_Great_Britain

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians, and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.