Safety of car passengers

Around half of all those killed and injured on the roads are car occupants, while users of two-wheel motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists each account for 10 to 20 percent. In view of that, one focus of the work of the UDV is therefore the analysis of car accidents and identification of measures that can be taken to prevent accidents (see the chapter on driver assistance systems) and mitigate injuries. The progress made with safety features and, in particular, the protection of car occupants is reflected in the positive trend in the accident statistics: The number of car occupants killed in the last ten years has fallen by almost 50 percent. New developments are constantly emerging as a result of technical progress, and the UDV tracks these with a critical eye.

The earlier analysis of SUV real-world collisions in Germany had shown that SUV drivers are not more accident-prone than the average car driver. However, when collisions occur, the crash opponents often fare worse as a result of the higher mass and ride-height of the SUV. The incompatibility between SUV’s and regular passenger cars was therefore...

Small-overlap frontal impacts involving passenger cars have again become a topic of discussion among specialists, and more recently among the public at large.

Since the IIWPG tests were launched in 2005, the safety of seat/head restraint combinations has significantly improved. Whereas five years ago 60 percent of all seats tested were rated "marginal" or "poor", this year only 28 percent were. This was found in a study of 211 seats in cars of the model year 2010 aimed at the German market.

Parents bear great responsibility when it comes to making their children safe in cars. Not only do they have to secure them in place, they have to do it correctly. That is why the UDV has published a variety of information for parents and grandparents.

In a research project lasting several years, the UDV investigated whether rear-seat passengers are as safe as drivers and front-seat passengers, how they behave and whether their safety can be improved.