Hundreds of lives could be saved if Australians bought the safest cars they could, according to new research.

The study, by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), examined the potential road safety benefits of the entire Australian light vehicle fleet consisting of the safest available vehicles compared with the actual vehicles involved in fatal and serious injury crashes in 2016.

It revealed a potential 33 percent reduction in road trauma if all Australians were able to travel in the safest vehicles possible.

“The Road Safety Commission promotes the importance of choosing the safest vehicle you can afford by consulting the ANCAP Safety Ratings or Used Car Safety Ratings Guide before shopping for your next car,” said Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner.

“The research released by MUARC today provides the evidence that hundreds of lives could be saved, and thousands of serious injuries stopped across Australia annually if we purchased the safest vehicle we could.”

The RSC has more information on its website about choosing a safe new or used vehicle.