NHTSA takes closer look at vehicle compatibility

  • 05-Jun-2012 05:31 EDT

A voluntary agreement reached among the world's major automakers in 2003 to reduce the risk of injury and death in collisions between passenger cars and larger light vehicles (LTVs) has produced questionable results, according to the NHTSA (U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). The agency is seeking comment on a technical report that describes the effectiveness of the Enhancing Vehicle-to-Vehicle Crash Compatibility Agreement (EVC), under which automakers agreed on voluntary standards for LTVs to reduce the height mismatches between LTVs and passenger cars. Overall, there was a statistically significant 8% reduction in car occupant fatalities of passenger cars after light trucks self-certified to the agreement. However, for pickup trucks and SUVs separately, the effectiveness is inconsistent. Pickup trucks experienced a nonsignificant increase of 5% likelihood of occupant fatalities of passenger cars, while SUVs were associated with a significant 17% reduction. The studies cited in the report "provide some evidence that the EVC has reduced fatalities, but are not sufficiently strong to permit an unequivocal conclusion that it has been effective in reducing fatality risk to car occupants." NHTSA will study comments received to determine whether to initiate rulemaking. The technical report can be viewed at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811621.pdf.


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