Light cars and compact SUVs have rated worst in the latest Used Car Safety Ratings, with more than 70 per cent of vehicles in those categories scoring ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ ratings.
Overall, more than a third of vehicles assessed scored ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ for occupant crash safety protection.
The ratings, based on work by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in conjunction with the RACV, TAC and VicRoads, use vehicle records from more than eight million actual road crashes in Australia and New Zealand. They take into account the vehicle’s size, weight, design and safety features such as airbags and seatbelt types.
RACV’s head of vehicle engineering, Michael Case, says the Used Car Safety Ratings are an excellent resource to help motorists buy a safe second-hand car because they are based on real crash statistics.
“A ‘safer pick’ rating not only provides you with good protection but also protects the occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists,” says Michael.
The driver protection ratings, from one to five stars, show the risk of death or serious injury in the event of a crash. Additional ratings estimate the injury risk the vehicle poses to other road users in a crash and the likelihood of being involved in a crash based on the avoidance features fitted. Together with the driver protection rating, these are used to designate the best of the best-rating vehicles as a ‘safer pick’.
TAC’s How safe is your first car site lists the safest cars based on price, starting at $5000. The How safe is your car site lists the safest cars based on category or make and model.
For more on the 2018-19 Used Car Safety Ratings, and crash-test videos, go to racv.com.au.