Skip to main content

We often pick a new car based on how it looks or how much it costs, but a new safety campaign is urging all of us to think about how the vehicle we buy might fare in a crash.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey launched the Safer Vehicle Choices Save Lives campaign, in partnership with ANCAP and the NRMA, encouraging us to put safety, not looks, first when choosing a new car.

“Most road safety campaigns have focused on behavioural factors such as speed, fatigue, drink driving and seatbelt use. While they remain vital, this campaign highlights the importance of choosing a safer vehicle,” Mrs Pavey said.

Key Points:

• The risk of a fatality in a vehicle 15 years or older is four times greater than in a car less than 5 years old.
• This campaign is the first of its kind, highlighting the role of the vehicle in determining survivability in a crash.
• Consumers are prompted to consider safer vehicle choices to keep them safe in a crash.
• Nearly 80 per cent of young drivers under 20 who died and 71 per cent of those seriously injured in car crashes in the past five years were driving cars older than 10 years. Around 45 per cent of those who died were driving vehicles at least 15 years old.

The campaign features two vehicles – one a 1998 model and one a 2015 model. The fate of the drivers is left to the consideration of the viewer when the two cars crash head-on. Viewers are prompted to review the safety rating of their own vehicle online.

“We know older vehicles are attractive to young people and older people who tend to keep vehicles longer. They are two groups that we need to work hard to protect on our roads,” NRMA Executive Director Motoring Operations Melanie Kansil said.

“Encouraging these and all other road users to buy a car with a five star ANCAP safety rating, as well as reminding people of the importance of regular servicing is key to helping save lives.”

ANCAP Chief Executive Officer Mr James Goodwin said, “ANCAP research has shown the age and relative safety of a vehicle is a likely contributor to road fatalities.”

“This is the first campaign of its kind where the vehicle is profiled as being the life-saving factor in a crash.”

“Importantly, this campaign aims to improve the affordability of newer, safer vehicles and encourage fleet renewal,” said Mr Goodwin.

To find out who survives, visit