Which cars are safest in a crash?
Every year, the road toll in Australia is over a thousand. In 2015, it was 1,209. Pretty shocking, right? It’s no wonder that we’re all pretty concerned about the safety of our cars. We want to keep ourselves and our families safe, after all.
Safety is one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to buying a car. Your dream car might be a Ford Mustang, but it only scored 2 star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
Most people these days won’t even consider buying a car unless it has a 5 star rating from ANCAP, and with good reason. Here’s an explanation of the ANCAP rating system, along with three useful tips from the smash repairs experts at Melbourne’s Sheen Group.
ANCAP safety ratings explained
We all know that the 5 star ANCAP safety rating is the gold standard when it comes to safety, but how does the rating system work?
According to ANCAP, “You have twice the chance of being killed or seriously injured in a 3 star ANCAP safety rated car compared to a 5 star ANCAP safety rated car.”
To get a 5 star rating, a car needs to get a minimum combined score of 32.5 out of a possible 37 as well as meeting benchmarks in each type of crash tests. The crash tests include a frontal offset crash, side impact, and pole impact.
The car is given a score for each crash based on how well the car protected the driver and passengers from injury. ANCAP uses sophisticated crash test dummies to determine the likelihood of serious injury for each body part of each occupant to determine the score.
Which are the safest cars?
While any car with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating is extremely good at protecting its occupants, some of these cars achieved higher scores than others. Some even got close to perfect scores.
Some of the safest cars ANCAP has tested and their scores include:
|Small & medium cars||Large cars||Utility vehicles|
|2017 Skoda Octavia||36.84||2017 Hyundai Genesis||36.88||2017 Ford Ranger||36.72|
|2017 Mercedes B180||36.78||2017 KIA Sorento||36.62||2017 Mitsubishi Triton||36.22|
|2017 Honda Jazz||36.58||Nissan Qashqai||36.56||2016 Toyota Landcruiser||35.75|
|2016 Audi A3||36.41||2017 BMW 520d||36.53||2017 Mazda BT-50||35.72|
|2017 Mazda 3||36.4||2017 Volvo XC60||36.53||2016 Holden Colorado||35.09|
|2016 Mazda 2||36.35||2016 Mazda Cx-3||36.44||2015 Mercedes Vito||30.66|
|2016 Renault Clio||35.87||2016 Jeep Renegade||36.41||2016 VW Caddy||28.46|
All scores sourced from howsafeisyourcar.com.au
Almost all of these vehicles have a 5 star ANCAP ratings and are very safe, but you can see that some of them have higher scores than others. If you’re looking for the safest car there is, then make sure you check the ANCAP scores.
It’s also worth noting that the two vans on the list, the Mercedes Vito and the VW Caddy, both have 4 star ratings. They’ve made it onto this list of safest cars because there are currently no vans with a 5 star ANCAP rating, and these two have the highest scores on any vans.
Australia’s highest accident hotspots
The other aspect of staying safe while driving is to try and avoid accidents as much as possible. While you can only control your driving and not anyone around you, there are still things you can do to reduce your chances of getting into an accident.
Obviously, the first – and most common sense – step is to always drive safely and obey the law while driving. However, as AAMI’s annual Crash Index shows, each state has its own accident hotspots and incident trends, including:
- Drivers in New South Wales struggle to give way, with accidents of this type 5 per cent higher than the national average
- Victorian drivers reported the greatest number of nose to tail incidents, with over 30,429 claims
- When it comes to giving way, Queenslanders boasted less incidents (20 per cent) than the other two big states NSW (29 per cent) and VIC (25 per cent) and the national average (24 per cent)
- South Australian drivers had one of the least number of collisions while reversing, reporting only 792 incidents
- Stationary objects proved the greatest challenge for Tasmanian drivers, accounting for 39 per cent of the state’s collisions
- Canberrans and drivers in the ACT recorded the most accidents involving an animal
- Western Australians behind the wheel had surprisingly little trouble with animals, only reporting 573 accidents statewide
Check out if you live or work near an accident hotspot here.
Help reduce your risk of being in a crash by following these seven common sense tips from How Safe is Your Car:
- Anticipating what might happen by looking ahead and closely observing the movement of other traffic wherever you drive
- Expecting the unexpected especially in city driving and take extra care when changing lanes, overtaking, going through intersections and driving at night
- Keeping a greater distance to the car in front especially when driving on rural roads and overtake only when safe – never rush or lose patience
- Taking a 15 minute powernap whenever you feel drowsy or sleepy
- Reducing your speed accordingly when driving conditions become difficult or extreme through rain, fog, snow or glare
- Not driving after you have been drinking or have taken drugs
- Not using a mobile phone while driving
Always take extra care when driving in these areas. You should also try to avoid driving while fatigued as much as possible. Aside from alcohol and speed, driver fatigue is one of the biggest risk factors while driving.
You can never take all the risk out driving, but with the right kind of car and safe, responsible driving, you can minimise your risks and (hopefully) walk away from an accident if one does happen.
Sheen Group’s top 3 repair tips
To ensure you get good value for money and not some cheap and nasty repair job, the panel beating experts at Sheen Group say there are three important things to ask for when calling around for quotes:
- Do you use genuine parts?
- Can you please tailor a quote specifically for my vehicle?
- Do you offer a courtesy car?
Motor Vehicle Insurance
Through its association with QBE Insurance, Homeloans’ Motor Vehicle Insurance provides peace of mind, knowing that should an incident occur, you can be back on the road without major expense or hassles. Check out the policy options here or call 13 38 39.