Safety Concerns Over Vans

Wed 16th Dec 2020

Commercial vans across Europe have been slammed for their safety standards, with many not offering the same level of technology as vehicles according to a new Van Safety Rating system launched this month.

The Euro NCAP and Thatcham Research Commercial Van Safety Rating will assess elements such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and speed limiters, technology which is becoming more and more standard on cars, but seems to be lacking on vans.

THe new test looked at almost all of the commercial vehicle market, covering 98 per cent, or 19 vans, with the Volkswagen Transporter deemed safest, but with only a high rating of 66 per cent. The Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Vito also scored highly and were awarded goal ranking. Five vans achieved a silver rating, six were given bronze, while worryingly several other vans were given a ‘Not Recommended’ rating, including the Fiat Talento, which received a safety rating of just 5 per cent.

“This first batch of test results show the fitment of crucial safety technology on vans is woefully low,” said Matthew Avery, director at Thatcham Research. “It’s a serious issue that needs addressing urgently, particularly with van numbers increasing and the continued surge in demand for home deliveries during the pandemic and before Christmas.

“There is a definite lack of parity between the levels of collision avoidance technology on vans compared to cars,” Avery continued. “Modern cars have lots as standard, but vans have barely any. Brands are making a clear decision not to fit this important technology as standard and van operators are not even buying it as a cost option.

“The lack of parity even exists within the same manufacturers. Take Renault, for example. Its five-star-rated Clio has lots of standard fit Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology that can save lives. But its Trafic van has practically nothing, not even as an option.”