Big Lines of Credit Long Term Loans Short Term Loads Equipment Financing best business loans Small Business Loansbusiness loans Working Capital Merchant Cash Advances SBA Loans

Safer cars but drivers remain at risk as visibility worsens

March 3, 2010

Cars are becoming safer and stronger, but drivers’ views are becoming more restricted, according to Which? Car, which has revealed the best and worst car visibility scores.

All-round visibility is generally worse than it was around 15 years ago, according to tests carried out by the publication with car roof and door pillars strengthened to the extent that they have grown from barely noticeable strips to thick chunks of metal.

Vehicle blind spots account for around 1% of all accidents and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents calculates that eliminating them would prevent around 25 fatal accidents each year.

Which? Car’s research suggests that the Smart ForTwo Coupé comes out top for driver’s vision with a visibility score of 64.8%, aided by its lack of a B pillar (usually found between a car’s front and rear doors).

The Fiat 500 (58.7%) is second and the Citroën C3 Picasso (58.2%) is third. The raised driving position in the Ford Galaxy MPV (57.4%) brings benefits for the driver’s line of sight, as it does to a lesser extent in the Volkswagen Golf Plus (56.2%).

At the bottom of the list, convertibles such as the Porsche Boxster (31.4%), BMW Z4 (38.7%) and Lexus IS 250C (39.4%) rate poorly, though obviously their view improves considerably once the roof is down.

Which? Car editor Richard Headland said: ‘It’s vital to make sure a car protects its occupants in a crash, but accident research – and common sense – suggest that crashes are more likely if visibility is reduced.

‘This is of particular concern for more vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Some models that score well for visibility in our tests also achieve good [Euro NCAP] crash test results, showing it is perfectly possible to design safe cars with good visibility.’

Following the visibility test results, Which? Car is calling on manufacturers to do all they can to make life easier for drivers. Its recommendations to make conditions safer are for cars to have a better field of vision in the A pillar (front roof pillar) area and C pillar (rear-most pillar) area; to have improvement in side impact protection; electronic ‘junction assistants’ to be introduced; and head curtain airbags to be installed as standard.

Source: Which Car? February 19

Back To Top
Mac Driver Training
MAC's Clients:
Mac Driver Training