Safer vehicles are urgently needed on roads across the world to help reduce the 1.25 million deaths that occur every year from road crashes. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks this as the 9th leading cause of death worldwide and project that it will become the 7th by 2030 unless urgent action is taken.

Today you are at greater risk of dying in a road crash if you live in a country where vehicle regulations are weak and there is little consumer demand for safety features. In these countries vehicles lack basic safety features. Consumer organisations are working to change this and demand universal minimum safety standards.

CI is working with the Global New Car Assessment Program (GNCAP) and regional NCAPs to raise awareness around new technologies that help prevent accidents happening, and calling for the adoption of regulations by governments and car manufacturers to ensure every car in every market meets at least basic safety features and universally-recognised standards.

Road building is expanding and each year 67 million news cars are produced. Unsafe cars contribute to the deaths, and to 50 million injuries, which mostly occur where strong regulations around mandatory safety features in new cars are weak or non-existent.  Put simply, the same car made by the same manufacturer but sold in different countries can have very different safety features.

Significant technological advancements in recent decades has helped to substantially bring down casualty rates in high-income countries where safety measures mandatory. Many emerging economies, in contrast, do not require even basic safety features to be installed in new cars. Half of all cars are now produced in middle-income countries, and car ownership is rising across emerging economies.

CI is:

  • Calling on car manufacturers to voluntarily agree to meet the UN Guidelines, and change their practices so that every car, in whatever market it is sold, has at least the same basic mandatory features;
  • Building consumer demand and working to inform consumers on vehicle safety issues so they know what to look for – and demand – when purchasing a car.

Source: Consumers International