The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has launched an awareness campaign to encourage community conversation and consideration of safer vehicle choices.

The Safer Vehicle Choices Save Lives campaign highlights the different crash outcomes between occupants of older vehicles and more modern vehicles.

“This is the first campaign of its kind, where the vehicle is profiled as being the life-saving factor in a crash,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, James Goodwin. “Many road safety campaigns have tended to focus on behavioural aspects such as speed, fatigue, drink driving and enforcement. They remain vital, however this campaign highlights the importance of choosing a safer vehicle.”

Viewers can explore the crash outcomes and injury risk of those featured in the campaign, and review the safety performance of their own vehicle using ANCAP safety ratings.

“Too often people say the older car is safer and stronger. It is quite clear that is not the case,” said Goodwin. “Importantly, this campaign also establishes the call to improve the affordability of newer, safer vehicles and encourage fleet renewal.”

Over the past three years, the average age of vehicles in Australia has remained constant at 9.8 years, yet in 2015, the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash was 12.5 years. This increased to 12.9 years in 2016 and further, to 13.1 years in 2017.