It is a plea that comes off the back of Australia’s worst annual road toll in five years.
Speaking on ABC News 24, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said Australia needs to try to get younger people into safer cars.
“One of the great ironies of modern life is that the worst car you will ever drive is probably going to be your first car and that is when you are at the highest risk of having an accident,” Mr Chester said.
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The minister is promoting the ANCAP safety ratings to help parents understand that they can “spend a little bit more” to get a safer car for their kids.
He said while a new car costing $15,000-$20,000 would have a lot of safety features, the second hand market has cars with “pretty good safety features” for around $10,000.
“We need to try and get people into those newer vehicles as quickly as we can, recognising that not everyone can afford a brand new car,” he said.
“But if [safer vehicles] get into the second-hand market then perhaps we can see benefits flowing in terms of reductions in road trauma.”
Mr Chester said road trauma costs Australia’s economy $30 billion a year, in addition to the “immeasurable” social impact.
“More than 1,200 people dying in one year is a tragedy of national proportions and I want to make sure that in 2017, we recommit ourselves as governments but also as individual road-users, that we recommit ourselves to having a safety-first culture on our roads,” he said.
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) January 2, 2017
What are ANCAP and UCSR Ratings?
The ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) safety ratings indicate the level of safety a vehicle provides on a 1 to 5 star scale.
According to ANCAP, you have twice the chance of being killed in a 3-star ANCAP rated car compared to a 5-star ANCAP rated car.
But first car buyers shopping for a used car should also check out the used car safety ratings (UCSR).
The UCSR are based on Monash University analysis of real police reported crashes in Australia and New Zealand involving the different makes and models of cars.
These ratings assess used cars on:
- their level of protection for drivers in a crash and;
- their danger to other road users.
Used cars to avoid
According to the latest UCSR report, the following used cars are the most unsafe, with ‘very poor’ (1-star) ratings.
Unsafe Light cars:
Unsafe Small Cars:
Unsafe Medium Cars:
Unsafe Large cars:
|Mitsubishi||Magna TE/TF/TH/TJ/ Verada KE/KF/KH/KJ/ Diamante||96-03|
|Mitsubishi||Magna TR/TS/Verada KR/KS/ V3000/Diamante||91-96|
Unsafe Commercial Utes:
|Holden||Commodore Ute VR/VS||94-00|
Unsafe Compact SUVS:
Unsafe Medium SUVs:
Safest used cars to seek out
The UCSR gives the best performing cars a Safe Pick rating. Listed below are the ‘Safe Pick’ cars from the latest rating.
Safest Small Car
Safest Medium Cars
|Mercedes Benz||C-Class W204/C204||07-14|
|Mercedes Benz||CLK C209||03-09|
Safest Large Cars
Safest Commercial Ute
Safest Compact SUVs
Safest Medium SUVs
Safest Large SUVs
|Mercedes Benz||ML-Class W163||98-05|