Quadricycle safety compromise

Posted on June 4th, 2014 by Rob Marshall

safetyIn the latest crash safety test results released today, a new breed of four-wheel vehicle has been proven to offer its occupants significantly less impact protection than a conventional motorcar.

Unsurprisingly, these strange-looking quadricycles are gaining popularity, especially in Continental Europe, because they combine the low running costs and convenience of a motorcycle with some of the basic comforts associated with a city car, such as a roof and doors.

According to Euro NCAP, the new car crash safety organisation, just because some heavy quadricycles appear to look similar to the more oddly-styled and far pricier city cars (such as Toyota’s iQ), they do not have to comply with the same crash safety requirements, because they are viewed legislatively as being closer relations to motorcycles. During its investigations, Euro NCAP even subjected the quadricycles to less stringent regimes, compared to its far harsher car assessments.

The organisation concluded that, while these low-cost vehicles offer occupants superior safety to that of a motorbike (one factor may be down to their far lower maximum speed and comparatively lacklustre acceleration), the basic statutory safety requirements, to which quadricycles must adhere, are inadequate.

In light of the poor crash test results, with the ‘safest’ quadricycle tested thus far, Renault’s Twizy, scoring only 6 out of 16 points, Euro NCAP advises anybody, who is considering a purchase, to not only invest in any safety options that are available but also to consider that surrounding cars on the road will be many times heavier (and, by implication, safer).