MORE THAN TWO thirds of new cars on Australian roads do not pass international standards for pedestrian safety, according to the University of Adelaide's Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR).
A study released by CASR today claims that of 33 Australian-built and imported cars tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program since 2002 (and still available as a new car), only six would would pass the Pedestrian Safety Global Technical Regulation.
According to Daniel Searson, a PhD student and a researcher for CASR, Australian carmakers are losing ground to Japanese and European brands in designing cars that protect both occupants and pedestrians.
“The key factors in vehicle design which help minimise pedestrian injuries are the car’s ability to absorb impact from a human body and the clearance between the bonnet and the engine,” Mr Searson said.
Australia is a signatory of the Pedestrian Safety Global Technical Regulation, although it is not yet a legal requirement in Australia for carmakers to adhere to the regulations.
Mr Searson said that CASR studies have shown that around 28 lives per year could be saved and some 1000 injuries avoided if manufacturers adopted the minimum pedestrian safety requirements.