A new community education campaign in Western Australia is encouraging car buyers to select vehicles with a five-star rating, whether buying new or second hand.

The Road Safety Commissions Safe Vehicles campaign includes a video demonstrating how safety features in Toyota Corollas built in 1998 and 2015 measure up in a crash test. The campaign also incorporates a digital component to educate young people and those shopping on a budget about second hand vehicle safety using “Robo-man”, who demonstrates how each safety feature protects the body in a crash.

“We ask people to put safety at the top of their shopping lists when buying their next vehicle,” said Acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron. “Safety features in our vehicles are proven life-savers for occupants and others on the road, and determine how we avoid or survive a crash. There are safer options in all price points.”

The campaign raises awareness of two online tools to help people make the safest choice at a price they can afford.

The Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) Buyer’s Guide provides crash safety ratings based on data collated from more than eight million police-reported crashes in Australia and New Zealand. A USCR “Safer Pick” is a vehicle that provides the best protection for the occupants, reduces the risk of serious injury to other road users in a collision and has a lower risk of being involved in a crash.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has a star safety rating applied to new vehicles on the Australian market after rigorous crash testing.

“Technology such as autonomous emergency braking in urban areas will save drivers from being involved in collisions with other vehicles, but also pedestrian, motorcyclist and cyclist collisions,” said Cameron. “For people travelling on country roads where single vehicle run off road crashes are the most common cause of serious harm, buyers need to ensure their vehicle has lane departure warning technology fitted.

“Any individual or employer purchasing fleet vehicles needs to seriously consider safety features for their fleet vehicles to improve the safety for their employees and others.”