Most new vans don't meet proposed European safety standards

Just one in 10 new vans currently on sale comes with advanced safety technology that is set to become mandatory on all cars and vans by 2022, according to What Car? Vans.

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and reversing cameras or sensors are among the technologies that will have to be fitted to every new car and van from 2022 under proposals from the European Commission.

Other safety systems in the proposals include driver drowsiness and distraction alerts, intelligent speed assistance, data recorder in case of an accident, and crash-test improved seatbelts.


What Car’s analysis found that 88% of all vans on sale in the UK today do not meet any of the proposed safety standards.

While many top-of-the range models come with multiple safety features as standard, these are not provided on lower specification models. Just 12% of all new vans on sale have one of the mandatory safety technologies as standard, and only one in five vans comes with at least one of them as an optional extra.

AEB, which automatically applies the brakes if it detects a potential collision, is standard in one in five of the 228 new vans and pick-ups on sale in the UK, What Car found. Research by Euro NCAP, the European vehicle safety standards agency, has shown that AEB reduces real-world rear-end collisions by 38%.

Lane-keeping assistance, which automatically keeps the vehicle in the centre of the lane, is available as standard in only 2% of all new vans on sale, and is an optional extra in 18%.

Intelligent speed assistance, which helps drivers to avoid exceeding the speed limit, and automatically slows the vehicle down when the limit drops, is found in just 3% of new vans on sale, while crash-test improved seatbelts and accident data recorders are not fitted as standard to any van currently on sale in the UK.

Driver drowsiness and distraction alerts come as standard in one in 10 vans, and are an optional extra in 11%.

Commenting on the findings, Jim Holder, editorial director of What Car? Vans, said: “Van drivers shouldn’t be waiting for legislation to come into force to have access to the latest safety tech as standard. Though the industry has made strides in recent years, it clearly still has a lot more work to do.”

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