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After many years seeing the number of lives lost on our roads decrease, concerningly, this trend has reversed. The number of Australians and New Zealanders dying on our roads is increasing.

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Meet Anne.

Anne is a student studying a Bachelor of Nursing at university. She lives with her boyfriend, enjoys hanging out with her friends over coffee and binge-watching her favourite series on TV.

To get around, she drives her much-loved 1998 model hatchback – handed down to her from her grandma.

1998 Model

ANCAP Safer Vehicles Save Lives - Anne’s 1998 model

Meet Michael.

Michael lives with his wife and three-year-old son. He works at an accounting firm and dabbles in some backyard cricket on the weekend.

To get where he needs to go, and transport his family, he drives a 2015 model hatch.

2015 model

ANCAP Safer Vehicles Save Lives - Michael’s 2015 model
Anne and Michael are strangers, but they do share something in common. They travel the same road each day. It’s a typical, un-divided road joining their neighbouring suburbs.

Who survived?

Anne’s car, while mechanically reliable, is now 20 years old. A lot has changed since then. Anne’s car not only lacked safety features like anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) - its airbag count was zero. Not even one for the driver. Perhaps more importantly, the structure of her 1998 model was not designed to protect.

1998 model

ANCAP Safer Vehicles Save Lives - Anne’s 1998 model ANCAP Safer Vehicles Save Lives - Anne’s 1998 model
  • catastrophic structural failure.
  • Extremely high risk of serious head, chest and leg injury.
  • unsurvivable.

View the technical report.

Michael’s car is not new, but it’s far newer than Anne’s. As standard, it had dual frontal airbags, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting airbags and a driver knee airbag. Seat belt pre-tensioners were also fitted to the front seats, as was ABS and ESC. The structure of his 2015 model was also far superior and purposely designed to protect in a crash.

2015 model

ANCAP Safer Vehicles Save Lives - Michael’s 2015 model ANCAP Safer Vehicles Save Lives - Michael’s 2015 model
  • structural integrity maintained.
  • slight risk of lower leg injury.
  • walked away.

View the technical report.

Safer vehicle choices save lives.

Unfortunately, due to the age and lack of safety features in Anne’s car, she did not survive the crash.

Michael on the other hand, was able to open his car door as normal and walk away – looking back to the car that saved his life.

Older vehicles (those built 2001 or earlier) are over-represented in fatal vehicle crashes.

Those older vehicles account for 20% of all currently registered vehicles on our roads, but are involved in 36% of fatalities.

In contrast, newer vehicles (those built between 2012 and 2017) account for 31% of the fleet, but are involved in just 12% of fatalities.

The rate of fatal crashes per registered vehicle for the oldest vehicles is four (4) times higher than that of the newest vehicles.

What’s your ANCAP?

Have you considered the safety of your car?

With vehicle age and relative safety being one of the key contributors to road fatalities, safer vehicle choices can have a significant effect on survivability in a crash.

A ‘mistake’ on the road – whether it be yours or someone else’s – can be fatal, so making a safer vehicle choice when buying or riding in a car could mean the difference between life and death.

To see how your car rates, check its ANCAP safety rating.

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