Motorhomes show appallingly poor crash test results
After crash-testing two types of motorhomes, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverkets) shines the light on the “very high risk of death” present in those vehicles in case of an accident. The administration calls for safer motorhome crash regulations.
With the summer holidays only one or two months away, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverkets) decided to take a closer look at motorhomes.
This type of vehicle is becoming ever more popular over the years. In Sweden, registrations have increased by 50% since 2014. Yet, despite their new platforms, safety remains an issue. Only last year, four people died in a motorhome crash.
The Transport Administration decided to take a closer look and opened an in-depth study on motorhomes safety. They selected two types of motorhomes, one semi-integrated and one fully integrated.
The first one retains the manufacturers’ driver cabin while the latter only uses the chassis. Both are built on the basis of a Fiat Ducato van, which is Europe’s most common motorhome platform (84%).
The Swedes decided to use the same frontal collision test used by Euro NCAP for passenger cars. It consists of a frontal crash into a concrete barrier and wall at a speed of 64 kph. It corresponds to a frontal crash with a car at 90 kph, which is, unfortunately, the most common scenario.
“Results show that there is a great risk of death in a frontal collision. The construction isn’t sufficient to protect drivers and passengers”, declares the administration in its report. It’s easy to see why it arrived at this conclusion.
For the semi-integrated motorhome, the driver’s seat detached and was projected backwards towards a child seat. Plus, the cabin was completely crushed.
The fully integrated motorhome results are even worse. The shock dislocated the body from the chassis and the cabin was crushed until the second row of seats.
Dialogue for safer motorhomes
As Belgian consumer organisationTest-Achat/Test-Aankoop found out in 2017 and the Swiss Dynamic Test Centre also demonstrated, Trafikverkets once again explains that motorhomes have relatively short crumple zones in relation to their weight.
To improve safety, the Swedish Transport Administration aims at engaging in dialogue with motorhome clubs, dealers and manufacturers. “Although they follow legal requirements, it’s always possible for manufacturers to voluntarily increase safety”, notes the report.
Same for vans
Back in 2013, Euro NCAP already rang the bell for safer vans and passenger carriers. The European entity crash tested a series of commercial vehicles and passenger carriers by using criteria closer to reality than the homologation tests. Only the Ford Transit Custom received a five-star safety rating.