Canberrans are being urged to make safer vehicle choices in a community awareness campaign presenting the ‘life or death’ consequences of these decisions.
Independent vehicle safety authority ANCAP has joined forces with the ACT Government to draw attention to the role the age of a vehicle plays in whether ACT road users will survive in a crash – with research showing the risk of a fatality is four times greater in an older car.
To bring home the message, ANCAP last weekend had two vehicles from a car-to-car crash test at 64 km/h on display at Bunnings Tuggeranong and Belconnen.
The cars, which are at the centre of a television advertising campaign, are both Toyota Corolla hatchbacks but one is a 1998 model and one is a 2015 model. The crash test showed that the driver of the older car would not survive while the driver of the newer car would walk away.
“The cars which were on display showed the stark reality of how two different vehicles fared in the same crash,” ANCAP chief executive, James Goodwin said.
“We too often hear ‘it won’t happen to me’, but it can and it does. It might not be your fault, but if you’re in the safest vehicle you can be, you’re giving yourself and your family the best chance at either avoiding or minimising the consequences of a crash.”
ANCAP research shows that one in five vehicles on Australian roads are more than 15 years old, yet they’re involved in one in three fatality crashes.
In contrast, vehicles less than five years old make up one-third of the vehicles on our roads but are involved in just one in 10 fatality crashes.
“The ACT is one of the safest jurisdictions with the lowest number of road fatalities, but this shouldn’t mean Canberrans should be complacent when it comes to vehicle choice,” Mr Goodwin said.
He said that people were intrigued by the crashed cars on display at Bunnings Tuggeranong last Saturday (June 1) and Bunnings Belconnen (June 2), with some people encouraging their friends to come and see them.
“We’re trying new ways to engage with the community and get everyday people doing everyday things to think about the safety of the car they drive or travel in.”
Mr Goodwin said it is unfortunate that we tend to see our most at-risk drivers – the young and inexperienced, as well as the elderly and more frail – in the most at-risk vehicles.
“Safety is not a luxury and we want everyone to remain safe on the road, so consumers should look for the safest car they can afford and the safest car that suits their needs.”
ACT Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury attended the event at Bunnings Tuggeranong to show his support for the campaign.
“Improvements in vehicle safety, including advances in braking, handling, lighting, seat belts and airbags, have contributed significantly to road trauma reduction,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“Many injuries could be avoided, and lives saved, simply by driving safer cars.
“I encourage all drivers to buy the safest car they can afford. This could be a used car, it doesn’t have to be the newest car in the showroom.”
ANCAP safety ratings for more than 710 new and used vehicle models can be viewed at www.ancap.com.au
Below is the ANCAP television commercial which screened in the ACT in January and features the two crash-test cars.
Are you concerned that it is young drivers who tend to drive the most at-risk vehicles? Should more attention be paid to this? Let us know in the comments below.