Car Safety Features
Data shows that people who have crashes in cars made between 2003 and 2005 are on average about 45% less likely to be killed or seriously injured than those in cars made in 1980. Newer cars perform even better in crashes.
In a crash situation, different cars offer varying levels of protection for you and your passengers. Car makers can include different combinations of features which impact on the safety of your car. These safety features are generally grouped into three categories:
- Crash Avoidance Features - features that help you to avoid being in a crash, like electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and traction control
- Crash Protection Features - features that help to protect you in a crash, like seat belts, curtain airbags and crumple zones
- Driver Features - features that add to the safety of your car by making driving easier and more comfortable, such as seat height adjustment
Driver and passenger protection depends on your car's structure, its driver and passenger restraints and related protection devices working together.
Essential safety features include:
- A strong cabin that can withstand severe impacts
- Crumple zones outside the cabin to absorb the forces exerted in a car crash
- Effective restraint of drivers and passengers to reduce the likelihood of injury from interior features of the car, to prevent ejection from the car and to reduce the potential for soft tissue injury such as whiplash
You can make much more informed decisions about how well different cars will protect you in a crash and how manufacturers have integrated safety features by referring to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) ratings and Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR).