Screenshot of the English version of the French article
21 Feb 2023

Euro NCAP in cooperation with CTIF offers the 2023 Roadmap for better Extrication and Road Safety


Screenshot of Extrication workEuro NCAP has been a major player in improving road safety for many years, and a major European actor with which CTIF has cooperated for many years. 

Euro NCAP created the five-star safety rating system to make it easier for consumers to compare vehicles and to help them make the safest choice for their needs.


By Michel Gentilleau

Euro NCAP's 2023 Roadmap for the Safety Star Rating criteria now includes many aspects that relate to tertiary safety and very directly to the emergency services.


The work to create the Euro NCAP Roadmap 2023 was carried out under the guidance of CTIF, with Michel Gentilleau (France), as  "project leader" for tertiary safety within the CTIF Commission for Extrication and New Technology . He works for the fire brigades in close collaboration with Euro NCAP officials, in particular with Mr. Pierre Castaing (former president of Euro NCAP), who now leads the international association's working group on tertiary safety.

Joerg Heck (Germany) and Wolfgang Niederauer (Austria) also represent CTIF in this body.


The following main advances have a direct impact on firefighters concerns:


Euro Rescue App

Download the Euro Rescue App for first responders here. Access to all rescue sheets for free on your phone or tablet. 

• The implementation of Rescue Sheets and Emergency Response Guides (ERGs)

The rescue sheets will be made available to Euro NCAP in PDF format and will comply with the ISO 17840 standard (part 1, 4 pages maximum, with harmonised and standardised symbols).

The rescue sheets are already translated into 4 languages (FR, ENG, GER, SP).  From the beginning of 2023, they will be translated into all the languages of the countries that recognise the Euro NCAP tests. That means 22 languages covering the Euro NCAP application area.

The implementation aim is to make these available to first responders of all European languages, in particular through the Euro Rescue application for smartphones, giving road rescue personnel all the operational decision support documents they, directly in the field, in their phone or tablet. 


Etrication work• Automatic door locking

From 2023 onwards, tests will check that locked doors unlock automatically after an impact in the event of an accident. This measure is intended to enable occupants to quickly escape from the vehicle and also to facilitate access to victims for emergency services.


• Door opening forces

The door opening forces after impact will be measured after two frontal impact tests. Only side doors will be affected. This measure is intended to facilitate the opening of the doors as the previous one.


• Additional requirements for power door handles or retractable handles with no physical grip

In 2023, the tests will ensure that all side door handles are accessible and operable immediately after the test (out/ready to open).

This is to facilitate the opening of doors from the outside after a crash, without the need for rescue personnel to operate a door handle release device or to deploy the door handles by connecting an external power source. Again, this is to facilitate access to the occupants from the outside without the need for special tools.


Identification of energy source• Unlocking of the seat belt buckle

The objective is to ensure that the seatbelt can be unlocked normally to allow the occupants to escape after an accident.

This measure is intended to facilitate the unlocking of the belts directly by the occupants after an impact (including if the belts are under tension), particularly if they are physically affected by the accident or are young, and to allow the unhooking of the safety belts by the emergency services.


• Identification of energy neutralisation equipment

Securing/deactivating on-board energy in vehicles (high voltage electricity, pressurised or liquid gas, etc.) is a major challenge for the safe execution of rescue operations. In response to the increasing number of different manufacturers' instructions on energy neutralisation and the absence of harmonised procedures, it is necessary for equipment manufacturers to produce common markings and thus help rescuers who intervene on vehicles.

In order to orientate first responders, stickers/labels should be applied to the equipment in the vehicles to identify the energy isolating equipment. A fireman's helmet (international generic model) indicates that the safety equipment can be handled by emergency personnel.

Another pictogram indicates the type of system used to isolate the energy concerned (manual valve, service plug, e-plug, etc.), the colour of the pictogram background recalling the nature of the energy (electricity, H2, LPG, etc.). Finally, a symbol representing the energy isolation device specifies the operations to be carried out in order to dissociate the energy tanks from the supply network circulating in the vehicles. This measure is intended to protect workers from the risks associated with on-board energy (electrification, intoxication, gas ignition, etc.). Pictograms that all fire fighters will have to get used to recognize.


Extrication work• ECall

The eCall is a system installed in vehicles (all new models marketed after 1 April 2018 must be equipped with this system) that can be used to manually or automatically activate the emergency services in the event of an accident.

The criteria relating to eCaIL are intended to encourage manufacturers to use this alert device to transmit additional data (in addition to the mandatory regulatory data) that is useful to the emergency services.

These new data to be transmitted concern the potential number of occupants present in the vehicle at the time of impact, the location of the vehicle before impact at two close but distinct moments (to determine the direction of travel), then the direction of impact (front, side, rear) and, finally, the reduction in traffic speed (deceleration of the vehicle at the time of impact).

This last piece of data, supplemented by other information (type of impact, number of occupants, etc.), will eventually make it possible (experiments are already under way in Japan) to objectivise the predictable state of the occupants at the time of impact, with injuries now being considered as being proportionate to the deceleration undergone by the human body during an accident.

Additional points will also be awarded to manufacturers who install a system for establishing communication between the vehicle driver and the agent in charge of receiving the call, in at least four languages depending on the vehicle (EN, DE, FR, ES), transmission of fire detection (fire, smoke, thermal runaway, etc.), transfer of communication between the vehicle and a mobile phone belonging to the driver, who remains in contact with the emergency call reception service when he/she leaves the vehicle.


• Multi-collision braking

Euro NCAP will also check the presence and effectiveness of a system installed on a vehicle to activate the brakes in the event of a collision of sufficient severity. These devices serve to prevent or reduce a second impact (e.g. by preventing the vehicle from rolling into the opposite direction).


• Vehicle immersion

Finally, the safety criteria will include details in 2023 in the event that a vehicle enters the water during or after an impact. Some vehicle systems will need to continue to function to assist occupants in evacuating the vehicle. The functionality of systems such as door opening without power from the service battery (12V battery) or the functionality of the electric window opening will be investigated. In the absence of certainty that the side windows are still functional, the OEM will have to propose a method for the occupant to open or break a side window in order to be able to escape from the vehicle before the vehicle is completely submerged (window breaking tool delivered with the vehicle, pyrotechnic device, mechanical system, etc.)

In order to continue its action to improve the safety of road users, Euro NCAP has already started this year its reflection to define the future requirements for the years 2025-2030. Tertiary safety will be one of them and will take into account the wishes expressed by CTIF on behalf of all fire brigades.