Reducing pedestrian fatalities must be a strong focus in the realm of vehicle safety in 2016, says Australian independent safety tester ANCAP.
The watchdog released a statement this morning citing figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BIT), which found that pedestrian fatalities increased 7.9 per cent across Australia in 2015.
This rate of increase was higher than the overall road toll, which BITRE also reported increased in 2015, by 4.9 per cent to 1209 people.
The catalyst for ANCAP’s statement was news that two European luxury cars, the new Mercedes-Benz GLE and Jaguar XE, had achieved the maximum five-star ratings.
“With a concerning… increase in pedestrian fatalities across Australia in 2015 there needs to be a strong focus on vehicle technology to help contribute to reducing this figure,” said ANCAP CEO James Goodwin.
“Both models achieved the highest pedestrian protection rating of ‘good’ and use technologies such as active bonnets to help reduce injuries to pedestrians.”
ANCAP also commended both vehicles for their “suite of advanced safety features as standard”, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) — a feature fast becoming standard on many vehicles.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC was introduced in Australia in 2015 at the end of last year, and this ANCAP safety rating applies to all variants within the model range. Nevertheless, Goodwin saw fit to criticise one element of the car’s safety suite.
“The GLC is a new model to the growing SUV market and buyers in this category now have another choice of vehicle offering excellent safety features including AEB, but we would have hoped that lane keeping assistance would be standard,” Goodwin said.
Meanwhile, the Jaguar XE was launched in August last year and the ANCAP rating likewise applies to all variants.
“The Jaguar scored well in physical testing and offers a suite of advanced safety features you would expect in a luxury vehicle including AEB as standard,” Goodwin said.
Read our Jaguar review here and our four-way comparison test against sedan rivals here.