GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN – EuroNCAP has instituted a new assessment protocol for evaluating the degree of whiplash protection offered by passenger cars in rear-end collisions. For the first time, EuroNCAP is now conducting tests in order to rate the whiplash protection offered by cars. Twenty-five cars were tested in the initial round. The XC60, with Volvo’s Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), was one of five cars to receive the highest rating.
A number of different tests are included in the evaluation procedure. The seat’s geometry is first measured, for example, the position of the head restraint, in order to determine how well the seat can protect against injuries in a collision. Three tests are then conducted in a testing rig, with varying degrees of collision severity. This rig is used to simulate a situation in which a stationary car is subjected to a rear-end collision. Finally, the results are evaluated and the car is graded on a scale of red, orange and green where red is poor, orange is marginal and green is good.
“Our latest model, the Volvo XC60, performed well in all of the tests and was given an overall rating of green,” said Thomas Broberg, a safety expert at Volvo Cars.
The Volvo XC60 also received the highest rating of five stars in EuroNCAP’s Adult Occupant Protection tests, which include front and side impacts.
Volvo’s WHIPS is a form of protection integrated into the front seats that supports the seat occupant’s entire back and head in a rear-end collision. This protective system cushions the movement through energy-absorbing deformation elements between the backrest and seat cushion. If a rear-end collision occurs, the backrest follows the occupant’s rearward movement in order to reduce the forces on the neck and spine. WHIPS has been a standard feature on all Volvo models since 2000.