Mandatory Star Rating by 2017

The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), a government car safety program which is being implemented in advanced countries around the globe, evaluates new automobile designs and its performance against various safety threats. Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program, a safety assessment program based on NCAP model is expected to implement high safety standards including mandatory star rating of all new cars by 2017.This will be done based on test results for frontal and rear tests.

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The other features to be considered include anti-lock braking system (ABS), seat belt reminder and child lock functionality check. A road transport ministry official said that they will come out with regulatory norms which every new vehicle will have to meet before products are sold in the market.

Within the next 4-5 years the government of India will ensure vehicles provide basic safety in line with global standards for adult occupants, children and pedestrians including night vision system and driver monitoring systems. While minimum frontal crash test norms at 56 kmph will be notified, the government also intends to roll out a complete new car assessment programme between October 2017 and October 2020.

What is Star Rating?

A 5-Star Safety Ratings Program was initiated in 1978 by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of United States to measure the level of increased safety for vehicle occupants in frontal crashes. Side crash rating results were added with 1997 model year vehicles and rollover assessments with 2001 models.

This is a program that provides safety ratings to consumers so they can compare vehicles when shopping for a new car. The program also encourages manufacturers to voluntarily design safer vehicles. NHTSA is the only organization that rates rollover resistance in US, in addition to frontal and side crashworthiness. New aspects of the ratings system include side pole testing, using different sized crash-test dummies, crash avoidance technologies. Though NHTSA is unable to rate every car, all vehicles sold in the U.S. must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

The new 5-Star Safety Ratings include, for the first time, an Overall Vehicle Score, and a combination of results from two side-impact crash tests. The intention of the new ratings and tougher crash tests is to encourage manufacturers to build the safest vehicles possible.

 While not part of the 5-Star Ratings Program, NHTSA identifies vehicles equipped with advanced technology features like Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) to help consumers buy a safer car.

ESC applies braking to individual wheels during sudden turns so the driver will not lose control of the vehicle. ESC ensures that the vehicle travels in the direction intended by the driver. LDW monitors lane markings and alerts the driver if a vehicle appears to be inadvertently drifting into an adjoining lane. FCW recognizes when a vehicle gets too close to another vehicle, and signals the driver to apply the brakes to avoid a collision. Each vehicle equipped with these advanced technologies must meet certain performance requirements for that technology to be promoted by NHTSA.

Author: SubEditor

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