The safety of TVRs is often a question raised by buyers of the marque. Due to the high performance of the cars, we unfortunately see a higher proportion of these cars involved in accidents. Some insurance companies now take into account the previous cars owned by customers when calculating premiums for high performance cars including TVR. Stepping from a Metro into a Porsche or TVR will be reflected in the premium.
With a chassis made from tubular steel, and bodywork from glass fibre, a TVR's deformation in an accident is very different to that of a conventional monocoque car. Anecdotal evidence suggests that TVRs are very strong in frontal impacts.
Steve Barber crashed his Cerbera back in January. Steve recalls the events:
TVRs are not fitted with any active safety devices such as ABS or airbags. Side impact bars are fitted in the latest Chimaeras. The Cerbera has a full FIA approved roll cage and the latest Chimaeras and Griffiths have mounting points for roll bars. TVR themselves can fit a roll bar when the car is specified. As we can see from these pictures, rolling a convertible car can be a dangerous business:
Duncan Williams lost control of this Griffith when accelerating on a wet road. He survived the crash with cuts, bruises, severe whiplash and thirty staples to his head. Not surprisingly he's fitted his replacement car with a roll bar.
Older models such as the 'S' and the Wedges can also have roll bars fitted. Rollcentre make bars which can then be fitted by dealers or TVR specialists.
Ultimately whether driving a high performance car or the most mundane eurobox, the best protection is provided by driver training. A number of drivers we know have undertaken advanced driving courses which teach you how to drive a performance car safely. The HPC course comes highly recommended. This course covers many aspects of driving, but particularly hazard awareness. Although we all believe that we're good drivers, completing courses such as this can scare you when you reflect on previous driving behaviour.
Be careful out there...