How safe is your car?

Last updated on November 25th, 2021 at 09:31 am by Bill Tsouvalas

Your car is the most important purchase that you could ever make, and the last thing you might have on your mind is becoming another statistic. The Australian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), which looks at providing consumers with independent vehicle safety information, looks at making your life safer when it comes to making the right choice in purchasing a car. All new cars are tested against the ANCAP safety rating, which looks at the suitability of a vehicle to keep you safe during an accident. These five pointers will help you know if your car is safe.

What does ANCAP look for to measure safety

Did you know that we lose 34,000 adult and children’s lives on our roads every year, costing Australians $70 million a day? ANCAP uses safety ratings to determine how safe your car is when providing protection for both pedestrians and occupants on impact in a crash, which has accounted for 15% of fatal crashes in Australia and New Zealand. This is conducted through a physical crash test, and assessment of collision avoidance technologies that can reduce such fatalities. It is then put through a five-star rating system to determine whether the vehicle will protect you during a crash. The more stars it has the safer it is.

What are the requirements placed by ANCAP?

When dealing with precious entities such as human lives, testing of vehicles need to be done at the highest level. ANCAP holds all new vehicles to a safety standard that goes beyond crash tests. Their standards also require that all vehicles be fitted with safety features and Safety Assist Technologies (SAT).

These range from safety gear such as; head-protecting airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and so forth. If you do not have most of these already installed in your vehicle it’s advisable that you do so pronto.

Advancement in safety technology to benefit you

Luckily for you, safety features have evolved from the reliance on airbags and seat belts, to active collision avoidance technology that can prevent an accident before it happens. Automatic Braking Systems (ABS) is a prime example. It is a vehicle installed with sensors to detect objects or people that are close to the car, and that you are most likely to hit. It sends off a beeping signal as a warning, but in case of emergency it automatically applies the breaks, or switches off the car. This means your car reacts quicker than your brain that is still send a message to your foot to slam the brakes. NCAP systems in other countries have also moved towards providing consumers with easily accessible information on the car rating system, which has caused a move among manufacturers to include more SAT technology in their vehicles.

How well will your car rate against the ANCAP test?

You might think your car is safe, but according to ANCAP’s standards you could be in grave danger of sustaining a critical or a fatal injury. ANCAP uses a scoring system of 37 points. A score for the most basic safety features need to be 32.5 points to earn a five-star rating. To break it down, to achieve at least 32.5 you need to a vehicle that has undergone the frontal and side impact test which can earn you 16 points each. If you want to go all the way to reach 37 points this means your vehicle should have passed the pole test (2 points), and must have intelligent seatbelt reminders (3 points) which improves your star rating.

Will it stand?

Your car is not just there to get you from point A to B, but it should protect you. There are three basic components that make a car safe even when in a crash. These are Structural integrity, safety features and Safety Assist Technologies. If your car happens to lack in any of these departments then it’s time to trade it in for a new one.

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