Crash testing is becoming an increasingly complex science and, in the not-too-distant future, we are hoping to give you a more detailed picture of this task in various countries and enlarge on how it affects you.
If you are looking for a specific vehicle, check the government or independent center that covers your own country/continent. The websites for testing centers operated by the relevant car manufacturer (currently only Volvo and Honda are listed) should also be viewed, if possible, in order to see what that company is doing in terms of safety, but as theirs is a development role they will not give details for specific vehicle types.
In Europe, Euro NCAP is the best source of information, and the Australian ANCAP programme is largely based upon this.
From the USA you can read an explanation, here, by the NHTSA(National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), about crash testing procedures.
If you are considering the purchase of a Japanese vehicle but live in the USA it is better to check the American testing center information first — in case the car you want is listed by the IIHS — rather than go directly to sources in Japan, as some cars have different specifications depending upon where they are to be sold.
The Volvo Crash Testing Laboratory, in Stockholm, Sweden is the most advanced research center of its type in the world and is said to set the standard by which all other testing centers should be judged.
In Japan, Honda opened the world’s first indoor crash testing center, at Tochigi, in May 2000. This was followed by the opening of a second center, in Ohio, in 2003. View the details here.
‘Crashing Through The Safety Barrier‘ is a relevant and very interesting article by Thomas Geiger, of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (October 14, 2003).