Vehicle safety assessment scheme Euro NCAP is judging the Safety Award for the 2024 What Van Awards in the UK and its shortlist of the top 10 performers – which includes the Ford Transit Courier and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – puts them in the running for this accolade.
Euro NCAP has been publishing safety ratings since 2020 and has tested around 95 per cent of the European market vans to date. Its findings show that while the number of new vans on European roads has increased by 23 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels, safety systems seen on cars are not always fitted on vans due to the price sensitivity of this vehicle segment.
Not all vans offer the latest ADAS functionalities, such as pedestrian and cyclist detection. Some vans offer lane support systems, blind spot detection, lane departure warning or lane keep assist. Speed assist technology, if present, is mostly manual set and lacking a speed limit information function. Seat belt reminders are mostly standard for driver but absent for front passengers.
That’s despite the fact that vans tend to have a more severe outcome for their opponent crash partner, with an over-representation of deaths and serious injuries, although they don’t necessarily have a higher crash rate than other vehicles. And with many of these van crashes occurring in city and urban areas, the protection of vulnerable road users is paramount.
Euro NCAP’s list of the top 10 performers in the competition for the What Van Awards 2024 recognises those at the forefront of safety developments. All vans have either achieved a Platinum, Gold, or Silver, rating under Euro NCAP’s independent safety assessment. Vans are considered and judged for their market availability, standard vs optional fit of safety systems and value for money as well as class-leading safety performance.