Perhaps one of the most important factors to some when buying a new car, is how safe it is – ANCAP or the Australasian Car Assessment Program rates cars from 1 to 5 in terms of safety, where a 5 star rating is the highest that a car can receive.
ANCAP safety ratings are published for a range of new cars – including passenger, sports utility (SUVs) and light commercial vehicles (LCV).
The safety rating indicates the level of safety that the vehicle provides for the occupants of the vehicle as well as any pedestrians in the event of a crash. Other factors that influence the rating include the vehicles ability, through technology, to avoid or minimize the effects of a crash. Consumers can then use these ratings to compare the safety between vehicles of similar mass.
But how are cars given their ANCAP safety ratings? The cars are put through a range of internationally recognized, independent crash test and safety assessments. These include destructive physical crash tests, an assessment of on-board safety features and equipment, and performance testing of active collision avoidance technologies.
Vehicles are evaluated against four key areas, including adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist.
Adult occupant protection considers the level of protection offered by the vehicle, in the case of an accident, to the adult occupants – seated in both the front (driver and passenger seats) as well as the second (back seats) rows. While the child occupant protection assesses the level of protection offered to any child occupants – while seated in appropriate child restraints – in the rear seats of the car.
The pedestrian protection evaluates the design of the front of the car to minimize injury risk to a struck pedestrian. Factors that influence the pedestrian protection include the car’s crumple zone as well as the height of the front bumper. Vehicles are also assessed for their ability to avoid or mitigate impacts with pedestrians.
While the more stars the better, a vehicle that achieves the maximum of 5 stars in its ANCAP safety rating must exhibit the highest standards in all tests and feature advanced safety.