Safer vehicle choices are affordable

It is shockingly common that people have a very limited understanding of safer car choices. Too many people are still selecting cars based on its performance alone.

If people realize how many crashes happen on our roads, they would review their choices. As our roads become increasingly busier, and the road users are more diverse, the risk increases. Small cars are over represented in fatal or serious injury crashes. We could argue that everyone should be alert when travelling, but that is unfortunately not reality. As humans, we are vulnerable because there are too many things that affect our concentration and abilities.

ANCAP Crash test between 1998 & 2015 Toyota Corolla

Research that Mackie Research had done for the AA Research Foundation a few years ago, shows that a small portion of crashes actually happen because of “reckless” driver behaviour. Their research showed that the majority of crashes happened when drivers were driving normally.

One of the actions the World Health Organization recommends is that we should work towards operating a safer fleet. This is also one of the proposed actions for the latest New Zealand road safety strategy. We know that crashes will happen. Our challenge is to manage the outcomes of crashes, so they do not end in fatal or serious injuries. “Your choice of car can make all the difference if you are involved in a crash.

Our Used Car Safety Ratings provide you with a crash safety rating that shows how well each vehicle protects its driver from death or serious injury in a crash. So if you are thinking of buying a car, check out its safety rating. There are lots of safe, less expensive cars to choose from. In fact, some of the most affordable used cars are among the safest. A vehicle with a 5-star rating is the safest option.

Some vehicles can significantly reduce your chance of being seriously injured in a crash, and even can help avoid a crash altogether. Your vehicle also needs to offer good protection to other road users, such as people walking and cycling, if it collides with them”, Rightcar website (www.rightcar.govt.nz/used-car-safety-ratings.html).

“When using a vehicle for work, we need to consider the vehicle an extension of the workplace. Just as we provide employees with a safe work space in the office, factory, or work site, we must also provide them with a safe vehicle.” Australian New Car Assessment Programme (www.ancap.com.au/safer-rides). In New Zealand, the number of work place related crashes make up twenty five percent of all crashes.

Some fleet supply companies like Fleet Partners offer late model 5-star rated vehicles fit for purpose with a full maintenance plan for under $300 per month. This cost is fully tax deductible and for that, your staff enjoys the protection they deserve. In the same manner business owners actually contributes to making our NZ fleet safer, because after these vehicles are withdrawn from leases, they are sold to the public.

At 14-years, NZ has the oldest fleet in developed countries and our high fatality and serious injury rate reflects that.

The safety of your staff on the road is in your hands.

Daniel Naudé
Road Safety Coordinator

International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD)