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Buying a Car? Put Your Safety First

When was the last time you considered the safety features or ratings when shopping around for a new or used car? We are often too focused on getting the price we want or making sure that the vehicle is mechanically sound and less worried about vehicle safety or what the ANCAP ratings are.

To give you a rough idea of how safety features can benefit your health, Road Safety Commission Western Australia has decided to give you all the statistics you need to know. Here are some safety features to consider the next time you are car hunting:

Safety Features


They are arguably one of the most important safety features to look out for when purchasing a vehicle. There are four types of airbags your vehicle can contain this can include:

– Frontal airbags designed to protect occupants from a head on collision. These airbags will only deploy if speeds exceed 25km/h and will quickly deflate after impact.

– Side airbags deploy from side impact crashes and aim to provide protection for the head and chest. These airbags typically activate when occupants crash side-on to objects like trees or poles.

– Curtain airbags, like the side, are deployed when crashing into narrow objects like poles and trees. These airbags remain inflated and provide additional protection for the head and deploy from the front and rear.

– Knee airbags are designed to prevent serious injury from impact with the dashboard or steering column.

Electronic Stability Control

Working in sync with ABS and Traction Control, ESC is designed to help drivers avoid crashes by reducing the risk of losing control of your vehicle as a result of over-steering. ESC will detect any loss of control and automatically apply the brakes to correct impending over/under steer, stabilise, and enhance handling on any loose or slippery roads.

Anti-lock Braking System

It prevents the wheels of a car from locking up as the brake is applied heavily or suddenly allowing the driver to maintain control of the steering.

Emergency Brake Assist

In addition to ABS, the EBS acts by providing maximum braking power in an emergency stop situation and making sure your car has stopped at the most shortest distance possible.

Seat Belt Reminders

They will alert the driver with a sound and a visual aid on the dashboard when a passenger has not put on their seat belt. Some vehicles may even require drivers to put on their seat belt before starting.

With all these safety features in mind you are probably thinking just how much will these actually benefit me? The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has done all the leg work for you. Through vigorous crash testing ANCAP have published safety ratings 1 to 5 stars for 45 new vehicles as of 2016 indicating the level of safety they provide and the ability to avoid a crash. They have also provided a used car buyer’s guide (UCSR) providing 1 to 5 star ratings. With all the free information at your fingertips, there really is no excuse to cut corners on your safety.