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A comparison of the pedestrian passive safety performance of the new vehicle fleet in Australia, France and the United Kingdom.
Improvements to frontal vehicle design can improve a pedestrian's chance of survival in a collision but there are no design rules pertaining to pedestrian protection in Australia. Some overseas regulators are mandating a minimum level of pedestrian protection, and one consequence of this is likely to be a flow of safer designs into the Australian vehicle fleet. To assess this size of this effect, the distribution of pedestrian safety performance in the new car fleet of Australia was compared to those of France and the United Kingdom. A greater proportion of new passenger vehicles rated less than 2-stars for pedestrian safety by the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) are sold in Australia than in France and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the portion of the new car fleet in France and the United Kingdom assessed by the Euro NCAP/ANCAP since the beginning of 2006 has shown significant improvement and has a larger proportion of better performing vehicles than the equivalent segment of the Australian new car fleet. This period corresponds with the introduction of new vehicle pedestrian safety regulations in Europe.