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ANCAP Media Release.

05 November 2012

Airbags proven once again to save lives

The effectiveness of airbags in protecting vehicle occupants from death and serious injury has again been validated following an evaluation conducted by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC).

Supporting the position taken by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) to mandate Head Protecting Technology (HPT) as part of its forward-looking Rating Road Map, research by MUARC has found combination airbags* reduced the risk of death and injury by 61% in struck side crashes.

The report concluded that "combination airbags designed to protect the head, neck, face and thorax are highly effective in reducing injury due to side struck crashes."

Combination airbags were associated with statistically significant reductions in the odds of death and injury of:

  • 51% to all body regions;
  • 61% to the head, neck, face and thorax; and
  • 53% to the head, neck and face.

"As part of ANCAP safety rating assessments, side impact tests and pole tests are conducted to assess the effectiveness of Head Protecting Technology. It is a mandatory requirement that a vehicle be fitted with HPT to driver and front passenger seats in order to achieve the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating. From 2014 this will also apply to second row seats," said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nicholas Clarke.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

For a full list of ANCAP safety ratings and model specifications, and vehicle safety information visit

* Combination airbags are designed to protect the head and torso.

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