Project: DfT Policy Evaluation Programme: Vehicle Safety Standards - Improving Car Crashworthiness

Reference: S0221/VC

Last update: 02/03/2006 13:31:38


The overall aim of this research will be to provide an objective, robust identification assessment and understanding of the extent to which Departmental activities and initiatives have met policy aims and objectives by looking at the way Regulatory testing and EuroNCAP have taken car safety forward.

The objective of this project is to identify, understand and assess the various ways in which the Department has sought to contribute to car crashworthiness and evaluate the processes by which it has done so, in order to identify which approaches have been most successful, so that lessons and recommendations can be drawn for potential improvements; ie., Regulation or EuroNCAP.


The Governments commitment to road safety requires that we reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in Great Britain in road accidents by 40 per cent and the number of children killed or seriously injured by 50 per cent by 2010 compared with the average for 1994-98. The Departments contribution towards achieving these targets is research aimed at improving the crashworthiness of cars.

Improving the crashworthiness of cars so as to minimise occupant injuries has been shown to be one of the most effective means of reducing the level of injuries sustained in road accidents.

Another particularly successful route to improving crashworthiness in Europe has been the introduction and development of the EuroNCAP consumer tests. These were originally initiated under a UK funded research project but have since expanded to include many more European, mainly government, sponsors.

Whilst taking advantage of collaboration opportunities with respect to vehicle technology research, it is often necessary for the Department to sponsor UK specific work in order to adopt an informed position during complex negotiations surrounding technical and administrative requirements.


Ergonomics and Safety Research Ltd
Holywell Building, Holywell Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3UZ
01509 283300

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £163,535.00

Actual start date: 01 March 2004

Actual completion date: 16 January 2006


Policy Evaluation Programme Vehicle Safety Standards: Improving Car Crashworthiness
Author: Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute
Publication date: 16/01/2006
Source: Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute at Loughborough University
More information:

Summary of results

  1. The project shows that the Departments decision making in respect to crashworthiness research was accurate and provided the basis for meeting policy targets. The project fully delivered credible results as originally planned, which also provided the historical evidence required for the Review of Secondary Safety Priorities project.