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ANCAP conducts a range of tests that mimic the most common types of road accidents.
There are five major tests used to assess the safety of a vehicle during a car crash. These tests are: Frontal offset test, Side Impact test, Pedestrian Test, Pole test and Whiplash test.
Frontal Offset test:
The frontal offset test simulates a crash of two cars of identical mass and travelling at the same speed.This allows information to be gathered on the car’s durability, shock absorption and overall protection of the driver and passengers when this type of accident occurs. Newton’s first law relates to the frontal offset test as unbalanced external forces act on the cars upon impact, leading to both cars decelerating and coming to a resting state.
Side Impact and Pole test:
The purpose of the side impact test is to simulate two cars colliding at a 90 degree angle. This allows better understanding of how individual cars react to impact from the side and how much it affects the driver. When the trolley is run into the side of the car, the effect associates with newton’s third law as the two objects exerts opposing forces upon each other, causing the aluminium face of the trolley and the cars side to become crushed. The side impact and pole test are designed to gather side impact data: impacts on the spine, ribs, internal organs and chest compression. Depending on the vehicle’s durability and protection, this can result in serious injury for individuals inside the car, hence why these tests is important in providing statistics for driver safety.
Pedestrian test:
The pedestrian test is extremely important when analysing the level of danger to the driver and the pedestrian when they collide. This test simulates a crash when a pedestrian is hit by an oncoming vehicle. This test uses a headform and upper/lower leg forms to simulate the body parts. The headform measures impact deceleration, which allows the severity of the impact to be calculated. The upper legform also measures impact severity as well as risk of fracture to the femur and pelvis. When the full leg is used, the risk of ligament damage and fractures are measured.

Whiplash Test:
The whiplash test is designed for rear impact data gathering. The rear impact dummy has simulated spine vertebrae, which is used to detect the head and body’s motion during the crash. This test links to newton’s first law as the vehicles are both travelling in a somewhat uniform motion before the crash occurs. The impact of the car crash is the external force that stops the cars and changes their course.
In a collision between two objects, both sides experience forces of equal magnitude but opposing direction. The driver in the back vehicle will feel a force “rebounding” back to them, which is equal to the force they hit the front vehicle with, but in the opposite direction. Drivers and passengers of both cars will move towards the point of impact due to the equal and opposite forces as stated by Newton’s third law.

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