RACQ's 2012 Used Car Safety Ratings uses data from almost six million car crashes in Australia and New Zealand to rate the safety standards of 313 of the most popular cars manufactured from 1982 onwards.
“The results show that your choice of used car can have a dramatic effect on your chance of survival in a crash, with your risk of death or serious injury increasing tenfold in a model with poor safety performance,” says RACQ's Steve Spalding.
“The research rated cars not only on the protection they provide the driver but also the level of risk they present to other road users in a collision. Those that scored highly on both counts were labelled as Safe Picks.”
BMW‟s X5 (2001-2008) was found to provide the highest level of protection to its occupants and other road users, topping the list of Safe Picks. At the other end of the spectrum, the 1996-2000 Suzuki Carry and Holden Scurry were jointly rated the riskiest of the used cars.
“While the top Safe Pick is a prestige vehicle, motorists can be assured there are Safe Picks in almost every class of vehicle, ranging from light hatchbacks through to heavy duty 4WDs, covering a broad price range,” Mr Spalding said.
“So, regardless of your budget, there is a safe option available.” Mr Spalding said there were 29 Safe Picks this year, up from 19 last year and almost all manufactured from 2001, demonstrating the advances in vehicle safety.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Australasian research and the results show that vehicle safety has improved on average by around 50 percent,” he said.
“Alarmingly, research has identified that novice drivers have the highest crash risk but often drive the least safe vehicles. “By choosing safer vehicles, novice drivers could reduce their road trauma statistics by 60 to 80 percent.”
The Used Car Safety Ratings are released annually by RACQ and Monash University’s Accident Research Centre which analyses real life crashes in which people were injured, that were reported to police between 1987 and 2010.
To see how your car rates visit: www.racq.com.au/ucsr