Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Mike Waters' blog: 9 July 2014 - Really important ratings
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Mike Waters' blog: 9 July 2014 - Really important ratings

Date: 09 July 2014

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at leasing and fleet management company Arval

When selecting a vehicle there's a lot to consider. Cost is normally towards the top of the list but the decision making process will also include things like environmental impact, practicality, performance and style.

Something that probably isn't high enough up the list a lot of the time is safety performance. It's easy to assume that all modern cars are safe, and most are, but it is undeniable that in an accident some are better than others.

That's why NCAP ratings are important - they provide an independent assessment and allow you to benchmark vehicles against each other. Of course, prevention is better than cure, so there isn't a substitute for good driving but you might as well put yourself in a really safe vehicle to provide the best level of protection if you are involved in a collision.

As you would expect, NCAP agree. In fact a new report from Global NCAP recommends only selecting vehicles which have gained the maximum 'five-star' safety ratings in new car assessment programmes. These tests provide analysis in four areas: adult protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist.

So much innovation in the automotive industry is safety related but much of it goes unnoticed. Many drivers are supported on every journey by safety equipment in the cabin and under the bonnet, often working away silently without them realising it.

This is of great benefit, one that shouldn't be underestimated and one that we should all utilise to its fullest. I've just been onto the NCAP website and there is a long list of vehicles which have received a five star rating so you don't have to compromise to be safe.

Fortunately serious and fatal accidents are fairly rare in the UK, but they do happen and you need to protect yourself. That's why NCAP ratings should form a key element of the decision making process next time you are selecting new vehicles.