A few newsletters ago we talked about some new ANCAP ratings for 4x4s. After that, it got us thinking about how ANCAP actually goes about compiling those results; results that can become a really important factor to purchasing a new car (whether it be a 4×4 or not).
ANCAP do four main tests to ascertain how safe a vehicle is in the event of an accident:
Front Offset Test:
A Mahindra XUV500 doing the Frontal Offset Test
Simulating a real life head-on, the test vehicle is driven into a deformable aluminium barrier at 64 km/h. The offset part means that only 40% of the vehicle hits the barrier, making it more lifelike. At impact, the car has two adult dummies in the front, one three-year old and an 18 month in the back seat.
Side Impact Test:
Side Impact Test; this time a Mitsubishi Mirage
This one tests your textbook t-bone. Sitting stationary, a 950kg mobile barrier with a similar aluminium front rams into the test vehicle doing a solid 50km/h. This tests the strength of the car across the doors, along with the effectiveness of the side ‘curtain’ airbags (if they have any).
how the pedestrian impact test works
Accounting for around 15% of fatal accidents here and across the ditch, the pedestrian test is a bit harder to recreate in a meaningful sense. Instead of just driving a car into a bunch of dummies, ANCAP instead use localised impacts of where the pedestrian’s leg and head would come into contact to ascertain how much damage is done at 40km/h.
This time a Holden Colorado get’s banana-shaped on the Pole Test
Yep, you guessed it. This test recreates that ‘lost control and got wrapped around a pole’ scenario. Going sideways at 29km/h, the test vehicle hits a fixed, narrow pole right in line with the dummy’s head. Because the pole is so narrow and rigid, it staves the car in heavily.