NHTSA Releases Report on Crash Compatibility

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a Technical Report reviewing and evaluating the Enhancing Vehicle-to-Vehicle Crash Compatibility Agreement. The report's title is, “Evaluation of the Enhancing Vehicle-to-Vehicle Crash Compatibility Agreement: Effectiveness of the Primary and Secondary Energy-Absorbing Structures on Pickup Trucks and SUVs.”

The Enhancing Vehicle-to-Vehicle Crash Compatibility Agreement (EVC) was established in 2003 as a voluntary measure to reduce occupant fatalities of passenger cars in crashes with light trucks and vans, including pickup trucks, SUVs, minivans, and full-size vans, generically abbreviated as LTVs.

Manufacturers agreed upon voluntary standards for LTVs to reduce the height mismatches between these LTVs and passenger cars. NHTSA statistically compared car-occupant fatality risk in crashes with pickup trucks and SUVs, referred throughout the report as light trucks, built just before and just after self-certification to the agreement based on FARS and Polk data from 2002 to 2010. Overall, there was an 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 5% likelihood of occupant fatalities of passenger cars, while SUVs were associated with a 17% reduction.

NHTSA believes that “overall, these results 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.”

Comments must be received no later than October 1, 2012.

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