Crashes can happen at any time and aren’t always our fault. Thankfully, we do have the power to minimise the damage caused by crashes (to ourselves, our mates and our cars) by ensuring we’re making safe choices – both when it comes to the vehicle we choose to drive, and how we protect ourselves while driving it. Buckle in (literally) and get ready for some hard truths.
On average, the driver of the lowest star rated vehicle is eight times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than the same driver in the same crash driving a 5-star rated vehicle.
If every driver could drive the safest vehicle in their class, death and serious injury would drop by an estimated 33%.
Seatbelts can reduce fatal and serious injuries by 60% among front seat occupants and by 44% among rear seat occupants.
In 2021, 36 people who died on Victorian roads were not wearing a seatbelt.
How safe is your car?
When it comes to safety, newer cars are typically safer. However, not all new cars are created equal, so it’s still important to check the safety ratings and features of new cars.
The How Safe Is Your Car website provides vehicle safety information, including both ANCAP and Used Car Safety Ratings, to assist you in making informed decisions when you’re in the market for a car.
The How Safe Is Your Car website also includes functions that allow you to easily find and compare vehicles within your budget. There are multiple filtering options that allow you to search by make and model, number plate, and budget range.
What should I look for when I'm buying a car?
Whilst shopping, you’ll come across both Active and Passive safety features. Active safety features are much newer than passive safety features and are still not available in all vehicles. Make sure to look out for active features when you’re purchasing a new car.
- Active safety features are designed to avoid or reduce the severity of a crash (e.g. Lane Keep Assist, Auto Emergency Braking, Electronic Stability Control)
- Passive safety features provide protection to reduce the risk of serious injuries or fatalities in the event of a crash (e.g., seatbelts, airbags, vehicle structure).
The bottom line
We get it, safety might not sound like the sexiest thing to keep in mind when picking out your new wheels. While we’re definitely not saying you should give up the dream of owning a vintage Volvo, you should go into your next car purchase with the plan of owning it for a long time (and staying alive for a long time too).