NSW authorities are in a constant battle to increase road safety and decrease car accident figures. However, could the vehicle you purchase have a bearing on your level of safety?
It can, according to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) – and the authority is urging consumers to check out their safety ratings before buying a vehicle. For over 20 years, ANCAP has crash tested over 400 vehicles to see how they would perform under certain conditions.
Each vehicle is given a rating from one star to five star depending on how safe the drivers and passengers would be in an accident. In the authority's latest round of tests, three vehicles have been awarded the prestigious five star rating – the Volkswagen Polo and two Lexus models.
Different versions of the Volkswagen Polo have held a five star safety rating since 2010 and this model is no different. It features a number of safety assist technologies such as emergency stop signal and secondary brake collision assist.
Similar to the Volkswagen, the Lexus CT200h has a good history with ANCAP, with models from 2011 all holding the maximum rating.
The vehicle includes reversing collision avoidance, an emergency stop signal as well as one special safety feature – the smart key. This device can be programmed to restrict access to certain parts of the vehicle, such as maximum speed.
This vehicle has features that could come in handy should you be involved in an accident in the city centre.
All Lexus ISs include an 'active' bonnet which rises for extra clearance between the hood and the engine if you collide with a pedestrian.
ANCAP Chairman, Lauchlan McIntosh explained that car manufacturers could do more to ensure vehicle safety in the event of an incident.
"Each of these models offer a respectable range of safety assist technologies however, as with a number of other vehicles we've tested recently, we are continuing to see the majority of these important technologies either being withheld from base variants or not available at all," he said.
"Safety should not be seen as luxury or added extra," he concluded.
NSW car accident compensation
If you are involved in a car accident and suffer a whiplash injury, you could be eligible for compensation. The motor accident compensation scheme extends to most motorists including drivers and pedestrians.
It is important to contact a car accident compensation lawyer as soon as you are well enough. They can offer advice about your possible claim and discuss the circumstances around the accident.