With vehicle age and relative safety being one of the key contributors to road fatalities, safe vehicle choices can have a significant effect on your survivability in a crash. Today’s vehicles can even help avoid a crash in the first place.
A ‘mistake’ on the road – whether it be yours or someone else’s – can be fatal, so making a safer choice when buying or riding in a vehicle could mean the difference between life and death.
When it comes to safety, not all cars are equal. Some safety features like front airbags come standard in most new vehicles, but other technologies don't. Important safety features to look out for in both new and used cars include:
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Lane Departure Warning
- Side Curtain Airbags
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
Used Car Safety Ratings
The Used Car Safety Ratings brochure helps identify safer models among second-hand vehicles.
Safety ratings are provided for used vehicles based on nearly 9 million vehicles involved in police-reported road crashes.
The vehicle’s size and weight, design, and safety features, such as airbags and types of seatbelts, are all taken into account.
The more stars, the better the vehicle protects its occupants. Vehicles that achieve the maximum five star occupant safety rating are also deemed to be a 'Safer Pick' if they are fitted with certain crash-avoidance technologies. The 'Safer Pick' vehicles give excellent protection and cause less serious injury to other road users in a crash.
Research by Monash University shows that you are eight times more likely to be killed or seriously injured driving the worst rated vehicle, than in the safest vehicle.
ANCAP Safety Ratings
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is Australasia's independent vehicle safety advocate.
ANCAP provides Australian and New Zealand consumers with independent vehicle safety ratings on new light vehicle models. ANCAP provides consumers with transparent advice and information on the level of occupant and pedestrian protection provided by different vehicle models in the most common types of crashes, as well as their ability - through technology - to avoid a crash.
The more stars, the better the vehicle performed in ANCAP tests. To achieve the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, a vehicle must meet the highest standards in all tests and feature advanced safety assist technologies.
How safe is your car?
How safe is your car? helps car buyers find the safest car in their price range. It includes both ANCAP and Used Car Safety Ratings vehicles. Younger drivers face many challenges when learning the complex skill of driving and face a high risk of being involved in a crash. Despite making up only about 15 per cent of all licence holders, the crashes which involve younger drivers (aged under 26 years) account almost a quarter of annual road fatalities*. Many drivers don’t realise the difference a 5 star rated car can make in saving a life. All road users are encouraged to choose the safest vehicle within their price range.
P1 and P2 drivers are banned from driving high performance vehicles. Find out more on our P1/P2 vehicle search.