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SARAC~Safety Rating Based on Real-World Crashes for Supplementation of New Car Assessment Programs
Published May 19, 2003 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
New car crash testing programs promote car manufacturers, by the way of consumer choice, to improve the occupant protection of new car models. It is also possible to produce an assessment of relative car occupant protection on the basis of real-world accidents.
NCAPs and safety ratings based on real-world accidents are complementary. Whereas crash test programs attempt to simulate the most likely crash types and are carried out in controlled laboratory conditions, assessments based upon real-world accident data reflect all accident circumstances. Neither approach guarantees a perfect rating system but both have the potential to produce consistent consumer information about the relative safety of cars.
Therefore, the European Project "Quality Criteria for the Safety Assessment of Cars based on Real World Crashes" was established, with three major objectives: description of existing rating methods and identification of problem areas; inter-relationship between retrospective (accident-based ratings) and prospective barrier-test rating systems; consideration of vehicle compatibility and aggressivity ratings.
The activities of this Safety Rating Advisory Committee (SARAC) which is directly aligned to the European Commission DG TREN were coordinated by the Committee of the European Insurers and founded by project members from 10 countries including Europe, United States of America, Australia and Japan.
The comparison of EuroNCAP rating with SARAC real-world accident experience showed good correlation. The use of regression procedures offered new possibilities to describe aggressivity parameters of cars based on real accidents. Further results of the first SARAC phase and an outlook over the second project phase will be presented. Future investigations will include in-depth comparison of existing rating systems with the aim to develop a comprehensive retrospective rating procedure. Consideration of active safety systems and possibilities of analyzing/monitoring the injury outcome in car/pedestrian crashes are focal objectives in SARAC 2. A specialized database containing real-world crash data of vehicle models which have been tested in NCAP crash tests will be established.