A new safety campaign is urging car buyers to think about how a vehicle might fare in a crash rather than focusing on how a vehicle looks.

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey launched the Safer Vehicle Choices Save Lives campaign, in partnership with the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) to encourage consumers to put safety first.

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

The campaign highlights the following points:

  • The risk of a fatality in a vehicle 15 years or older is four times greater than in a car less than five 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 percent of young drivers under 20 who died and 71 percent of those seriously injured in car crashes in the past five years were driving cars older than 10 years. Around 45 percent of those who died were driving vehicles at least 15 years old.

The campaign features a video involving 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,” said NRMA Executive Director Motoring Operations Melanie Kansil. “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.”