When it comes to car safety, not all cars are equal. While you only have partial control when it comes to staying safe while driving—as you can’t guarantee the quality of drivers around you—the wheel is in your hands when it comes to picking a vehicle. If you want to make sure you’re as safe as possible while driving, you want to invest in a car with a high Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) Safety Rating.
Here is some food for thought when purchasing your next car.
ANCAP Safety Rating
This thorough safety rating program puts each and every car model through thorough crash testing, to determine how safe the car is in comparison to other vehicles. This information is then provided to consumers to better help them select a car with all the necessary safety features. Each car is given a star rating from 1 to 5, with 5 the safest rating. Visit the ANCAP Safety Rating website to get more information on what these star ratings mean. ANCAP recommends 5-star rated cars and nothing less.
Want to know your car’s safety rating? Visit the ANCAP Safety Ratings website and simply select your make and model.
Understanding Car Safety Features
With breakthroughs in car technology happening regularly, vehicle safety features are reaching new heights. When it comes to your car’s overall safety, you want a good combination of quality structure, restraint systems and active safety technologies.
Car safety can be measured in 3 key areas:
The structural integrity is how the chassis and outer shell withstands the impact of a crash and channels the forces away from the driver and passengers. A sound structure will absorb the energy from the crash and keep the original structure.
In-built safety features help prevent and manage the forces of impact.
These features include:
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)—helps you better control the car after swerving
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)—helps prevent skidding and loss of traction
- Airbags—softens the impact from a crash. Airbag varieties include frontal, side, curtain and knee
- Seatbelts—Required by law, seatbelts help manage the forces of a crash.
Safety Assist Technologies
Any technology that assists the driver in avoiding a crash or reducing its severity. These features include:
- Speed limiters—provides a top speed your car can’t surpass
- Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)—detects emergency braking situations & applies extra pressure to your brakes
- Fatigue reminders—alerts you if you’re overly fatigued
- Roll stability system—detects a potential rollover, then tries to correct & stabilise your vehicle
- Seat belt reminders—alerts you when you’re not wearing a seat belt
- Tyre pressure monitoring— alerts you when your tyre pressure drops below a certain psi level
- Adaptive front lighting systems—lighting that adjusts direction when you turn corners
- Pre-crash systems—detects a collision and prepares you for impact.
These are just a few examples of safety assist technology, for more examples and information visit the ANCAP website.
Remember, just because a car has all (or most) of these features, doesn’t mean it’s going to have a higher ANCAP Safety Rating. You should use the car’s safety rating only for a barometer for purchasing a vehicle.