As long as your car is in good mechanical condition, the tyres are arguably one of the most important primary safety features. Tyres are the only contact between you and the road, and through them you control the vehicle’s potential acceleration, braking and cornering forces.
The important thing when you’re driving is being able to stop. Make sure the brakes are regularly inspected, and serviced if necessary.
Manufacturers say their vehicles are “safe” but you don’t know what this means unless there is independent testing. There is no way of judging how a vehicle is going to perform in a crash just by looking at it. ANCAP (Australian New Car Assessment Program) was established to crash test vehicles and rate them on how well they protect the people inside them and other people such as pedestrians and motorcyclists. The results of the crash tests are available which means people interested in buying a new car can see the results and select a safe vehicle.
Evidence shows that vehicle safety features help prevent crashes in the first place, and reduce serious injuries and fatalities in a crash. Some of these safety features include:
▪ Front, side and curtain head protecting airbags
▪ Seat belt reminder systems
▪ Active head restraints
▪ Anti lock braking systems (ABS)
▪ Electronic stability control (ESC)
All these features make a difference to you in the event of a crash.
When it comes to survival, not all cars are created equal. Choosing a car that could save your life or the life of your mates is easy. Find out about how vehicle safety features work, what happens in a crash test, how cars get a safety rating and even how crash test dummies help us understand what happens in a crash.
Crash test dummies provide vital clues to what happens in a crash. They’re highly technical pieces of equipment and their role is vital: the crash simulations rely on having the dummies in place as driver and passenger to provide a full picture of likely injuries in a crash.
How do older cars rate for safety?
Used car safety ratings reflect the relative safety of vehicles in preventing severe injury to people involved in crashes – the ratings are taken from real life crashes in Australia and New Zealand. It’s worth taking a few minutes to find out how the vehicle you’re considering purchasing compares. Those few minutes could save a life – your own, your passenger’s or that of another road user.