What Health and Safety Checks Do Cars Need To Pass Before Going On Sale?

By  //  August 24, 2019

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Every car that enters the automotive market will go through rigorous testing before it can even be mass-produced. Whether you’re picking a brand new Nissan or a second-hand Jeep, every single one of them would’ve gone through test after test to ensure it was ready for safe public use.

Every car that enters the automotive market will go through rigorous testing before it can even be mass-produced. Whether you’re picking a brand new Nissan or a second-hand Jeep, every single one of them would’ve gone through test after test to ensure it was ready for safe public use.

While each car will often be tested to a different degree depending on it’s intended use (e.g. an off-road car vs. a city car), here are the standard tests that all cars must go through before production and sale.

Frontal Offset

This is the test that’ll come to mind whenever anyone says the words ‘crash test’. The test sees the vehicle drive towards an aluminum barrier at around 64km per hour, in order to test the crumple zone upon impact.

One or more dummies are placed in the car in order to give a better indication of the potential injuries and their severity. The frontal offset rating is then determined out of 16 according to these results and how effective the crumple zone has been in protecting the driver and passengers.

Side Impact

A side impact test simulates the impact of a car driving forwards into the side of the car being tested.

This is done with a 950kg trolley made with crushable aluminum, which simulates the crumple zone on the other car. Most cars perform well on the side impact test, some more so than the frontal impact test.

There will also be a pole impact test, which assesses how successful the curtain airbags are.

The car is propelled sideways into a pole that aligns with the drivers – or dummy’s – head. The rating is determined depending on how successful they are preventing serious head injury.

Whiplash Test

Whiplash tests cover everything from the crumple zone of both the front and back of the vehicle and the performance of the seatbelts.

Like the Side Impact test, this one has two parts – a geometric measurement of the head restraint following a collision, and a dynamic test for a rear-end collision.

Pedestrian Test

Every vehicle will go through pedestrian tests, which are used to assess the potential and probable bodily injury that a pedestrian would suffer upon impact. It is the only test that focuses on someone outside of the car, rather than within it.

Safety Assist Technology Tests

All cars will have certain safety assist technology devices, all of which will need to be tested.

This includes airbags, electronic stability controls and the emergency braking system. If the vehicle has any other additional safety features, these will also be tested through pre-production.

Quality Measurements

Alongside the above tests, cars will also go through a number of quality and health-based measurements and tests to ensure a pleasant driving experience.

This can include:

  • How noisy the car is inside the cabin. This includes noise from the engine, wind and tires.
  • What level of vibration is there?
  • How quickly do the air conditioning and heater kick in?
  • How does the car perform in extreme conditions?
  • What is the fuel efficiency, and does it satisfy emissions requirements?

Car testing is a vital part of the manufacturing process. It can determine whether a vehicle is ready for sale, whether it needs additional safety considerations and, most importantly, whether the public can confidently purchase and drive the vehicle following release.

Make sure to investigate the safety ratings of your next car to ensure you’re getting the best deals.

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