Small cars offering little protection

Whiplash injuries to motorists who drive small, economical vehicles are potentially more serious than those who drive larger family or estate cars.

The insurance company test centre at Thatcham has no ‘City Cars’ achieving a ‘good’ rating in low-speed rear-end collisions.

Research manager, Matthew Avery, who is responsible for production of the ratings said: "Although across the board we are seeing improved seat designs with around 75 per cent of all new seats tested now achieving a ‘good’ or ‘acceptable’ rating, more can certainly still be done.

"City cars are not equipped to protect their occupants’ necks when they
have to absorb the crash energy from larger, heavier vehicles which
combined with poor seat design makes whiplash far more likely. Good seat
design is not something that should be inherently linked to higher value
cars and this latest set of results will hopefully act as a catalyst for
vehicle manufacturers to look at improving seat and head restraints
design within this important and growing sector."

Three vehicle manufacturers – Audi, Volvo and SAAB – have now achieved
high ratings for their new seat designs and they have committed to
introduce them into their full vehicle ranges.

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