Quadricycles are still a non-existent segment in India. Even though Bajaj Auto is waiting to roll out its first ever vehicle in this segment, there is very little that we know about the safety aspect of such vehicles. In Europe though, quadricycles are a very common sight that have been derived from motorcycles as small and fuel-efficient vehicles to be used in rural or urban areas. Although street legal, quadricycles are not subjected to any kind of rigorous crash tests unlike cars.
In a special safety campaign, the Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) decided to test quadricycles to demonstrate the safety flaws these vehicles pose in case of an accident. As the Euro NCAP’s results state, “All vehicles have performed very poorly and some have shown serious signs of life threatening injuries”. The tested models were the Club Car Villager 2+2 LSV, Renault Twizy 80, Tazzari ZERO and Ligier IXO J LINE 4 Places and were subjected to frontal and side impacts at 50 km/hr.
While some scored better than the others, all quadricycles performed poorly and had safety problems. The quadricycles scored points primarily on data from crash dummies, but penalties were also given for poor structure or restraints. While the other quadricycles came with minimal safety features, the Renault Twizy was the only vehicle to have an airbag as standard and scored best in stiff structure and restraint system receiving the highest score of 6 out of 16. The crash tests for quadricycles differ from Euro NCAP’s normal passenger car tests and cannot be compared.
The test was conducted to question to the amount of safety generally provided on quadricycles. The poor test results definitely raise the question that Should manufacturers increase the amount of protection on offer on quadricycles? Euro NCAP states that even though these vehicles meet legislative standards, they lack the minimum safety equipment which has become a common place on passenger cars sold in Europe. With the quadricycles segment to soon evolve in India, the crash tests are a heads up for us as well; but first we must make our passenger cars safer.
[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zet4qF4cE3Q 540 375]
[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHeEodoHubc 540 375]
[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9WgaoDF3_Q 540 375]
[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzvgmEKu80I 540 375]