How safe is your car? Alarming data points to prioritising safety

By Our Reporter
Representative image. Photo by why kei on Unsplash

The concerning number of Victorians dying in older vehicles has prompted a plea for people in the market for a car to do their research and put safety first.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said new figures from the Transport Accident Commission show around two thirds of drivers and passengers killed on Victorian roads last year were travelling in vehicles aged more than 10 years.

So far in 2022, 28 out of the 54 driver and passenger deaths have occurred in a vehicle built more than a decade ago and the average vehicle on Victoria’s roads is around 10 years old—meaning far too many cars are without the latest lifesaving technologies found in more modern vehicles.

These insights support the Andrews Labor Government’s push for people to drive safer cars in a bid to help slash road trauma and reduce the average age of the state’s fleet.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) are free to access and provide the latest vehicle safety information to help people in the market make an informed choice. A matter of minutes can make the difference between life or death.

Life-saving safety features people should look for include auto-emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, electronic stability control, and front, side, and curtain airbags.

It comes as Victoria successfully worked with the Commonwealth Government to ensure all newly introduced models sold in Australia from March 2023 are fitted with autonomous emergency braking—which is expected to save dozens of lives across the country each year.

The push follows National Road Safety Week last month, which highlighted the importance of road safety and what we can all do to make our roads safer for everyone. A key theme of the week acknowledged the topic ‘how safe is my car’, encouraging people to think about safety when choosing a car and to ensure their current vehicle has enough safety features.

Getting people into safer vehicles is a key priority of Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2023, which sets ambitious targets to halve road deaths and significantly reduce serious injuries by 2030.

People can see the latest ratings, look for information about vehicle safety features and check how safe their car is here

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