Is your car your pride and joy, or are you ready for a change? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

You're safe in Renault's hands

Tue, 22 Apr 2008
Road safety is a major social issue, both nationally and internationally. According to the World Heath Organisation (WHO), road accidents are the eighth biggest cause of death worldwide and are expected to become the third largest by 2020. Studies show that human error is involved in 80% of all road traffic accidents contributing to 1.2 million fatalities worldwide each year.

Luckily for us, car manufacturers take these statistics very seriously indeed. Perhaps the best example, is Renault who are the only manufacturer to boast 5* EuroNCAP crash-test ratings for no less than 9 of their vehicles.

I’ve always been aware that Renault and EuroNCAP are often mentioned in the same sentence but have never really been too sure why they rate so highly or what this means to me and my family. So, when I got the chance to attend a Renault safety workshop at their testing centre at Mortefontaine just outside Paris, I jumped at the chance to find out more.

EuroNCAP is a Brussels-based organisation that carries out precise studies into the consequences of accidents on drivers and passengers. The maximum rating any vehicle can be given is 5 stars. The crash-test procedure features four separate tests:

1)Front impact test - car collides head on with simulation vehicle at 64kph
2)Side impact test – a mechanical ram is projected at 50kph against drivers side
3)Pole test - a trolley mounted pole is projected at 29kph into the drivers side
4)Pedestrian impact – life like dummy frontal impact at 40kph assesses pedestrial injury to tibia, hip & head.

If you’re thinking, this sounds a little frightening you’d be right. Renault recreate all of the above tests and add in a few of their own too. The poor crash test dummies worth over £120,000 each certainly live an adrenalin fuelled lifestyle! However, Renault’s strength is most certainly in this pragmatic approach to protection.

Renault crash-tests are designed to simulate real life accident scenarios in order to analyse human physical tolerances so adaptations to the vehicles can be made accordingly. It is this rigorous testing procedure and commitment to innovation at the service of road safety that has enabled Renault to achieve the highest possible safety standards in Europe for more of its models than any other manufacturer to date.

Safety is built into the DNA of every Renault. The entire range is designed to afford protection to both the driver and passengers. The vehicle structure is designed to protect vehicle occupants by absorbing as much of the impact energy as possible by crumpling progressively.

Renault was the first manufacturer to introduce seatbelt load limiters (1995) and controlled-vent front airbags in 1997. Renault’s Isofix child seats surpass safety specifications for two in-line anchor points providing a third anchor point for extra stability. Meanwhile, Renault’s third-generation system for restraint and protection (SRP3) is still unique on the market today. The SRP3 control unit gauges the impact force in under 10,000ths of a second to calculate impact force and the position of the occupants in the car to adjust protection and minimise risk of injury.

Under the revolutionary system, seat belts, airbags, collapsible steering and pedal units work in conjunction to achieve optimal protection. Frontal impacts account for 61% of road accidents and 45% of deaths. The SRP3 will also deploy a bespoke anti-submarining airbag under frontal impact to hold the pelvis in place and prevent occupants, particularly children from sliding underneath their seatbelts. This submarining effect is a potentially fatal phenomenon, most common to young children and puts our little ones at particular risk of serious and often fatal abdominal injury.

Renault’s road safety policy director Dr Jean-Yves Le Coz describes safety as an “essential element in the Renault corporate culture” and says that as a socially responsible organisation their approach to it has to be “global and pragmatic with their four main focuses on: prevention, correction, protection and education”.

I was overwhelmed by the robust operation that is Renault safety and I would wholeheartedly agree with Dr Jean-Yves Le Coz when he says their approach is both global and pragmatic. I can honestly say I had no idea about the level of innovation and technological investment going into the build of modern day cars from manufacturers like Renault.

The safety workshop has really helped me to understand what EuroNCAP means and why it should be up there with colour and whether or not it’s got a flower holder as a prime consideration in the purchase of my next family car. All joking aside, a 5* EuroNCAP rating is not to be underestimated. It represents the highest accolade of vehicle safety in Europe and they are not handed out like parking tickets!

We’d all like to think it’ll never happen to us, however, accidents do happen the statistics prove it. One things for sure though, if your lottery numbers haven’t come up yet odds are you aint one of the lucky ones so if you don’t like taking risks with your safety and the safety of the ones you love get yourself into a Renault with a 5* EuroNCAP rating. At least that way, when all else fails, you can be sure 600 safety specialists have got your back.

Safety at Renault is not an optional extra but a holistic philosophy and a standard that exists to save your life and the life of your family.

For more information on Renault’s key safety policy visit:

For more information on EuroNCAP or find out how safe your car is visit

Sarah Thomas


Add a comment


Ask Honest John

Value my car

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £8,930.17

Total cost of credit £1,430.17


48 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

Borrowing £7,500 over 4 years with a representative APR of 25.4%, an annual interest rate of 25.4% (Fixed) and a deposit of £0.00, the amount payable would be £239.77 per month, with a total cost of credit of £4,008.96 and a total amount payable of £11,508.96.

CarFinance 247 Limited is acting as an independent credit broker

Universal Square, Devonshire Street North, Manchester, M12 6JH