Safety First

There were 377 road deaths from 331 fatal car crashes in New Zealand in 2018.  Many more people were injured in car accidents. 

It’s not surprising then that safety features are often a high priority for The Car Brokers clients.   

The best car safety is a function of structural safety (passive safety systems) built into a vehicle and the safety features (activity safety systems) fitted to it. Collectively, car manufacturers spend billions of dollars investing in car safety technology and therefore as a general rule, the newer the car the better the safety.   That rule isn’t always true though. 

If you are considering a new or newer model car it makes sense to check the “The Australasian New Car Assessment Program” (ANCAP SAFETY) website.  ANCAP crash test vehicles and then publish their safety rating assessments using a rating system of 0 to 5 stars. ANCAP star ratings indicate the level of safety a vehicle provides for occupants and pedestrians in the event of a crash, as well as its ability — through technology — to avoid or minimize the effects of a crash. 

Here’s the link to the ANCAP website Car Safety Ratings | Car Safety | Crash Test Results | ANCAP

When you look to purchase your next car, you want to be able to understand the key safety systems of the cars you are considering.  To help you - here is a quick overview.  

Structural safety or crashworthiness systems (also called passive safety systems) limit or reduce the severity of injury in a crash.  Some of the key parts of the structural safety system are:

  • Crumple zones – that absorb the force of an accident and dissipate the energy

  • Airbags

  • Seat belts

  • Laminated windshields

  • Safety cells – reinforcement of the passenger area with high strength material

  • Side impact beams – a beam or bar across the interior of the door panels

  • Collapsible steering columns

Safety features or crash avoidance systems (also called active safety systems) are designed to help the driver avoid a crash.  Core systems such as brake, suspension, headlight and steering technology are also important passive safety features – but increasingly add-on electronic and other technology are helping deliver driver crash avoidance assistance systems.   Some of the key parts of this safety system are:

  • Antilock braking system (ABS)

  • Electronic stability control

  • Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)

  • Emergency brake assist – increases braking pressure in an emergency

  • Electronic traction control – to restore traction if traction is lost say through wheelspin

  • Adaptive cruise control – which maintains a safe distance to the car in front

  • Lane departure warning system – which will advise driver of a departure from the intended lane

  • Reversing and other vehicle sensors

  • Backing camera

  • Driver alertness detection system – alerts a driver if the technology believes the driver is drowsy or not alert

  • Infrared night vision – a system that uses a thermographic camera to increase a driver's perception and seeing distance in darkness or poor weather beyond the reach of the vehicle's headlights

Some of these features are in most new or near-new mainstream models (and features such as ABS will likely be in older vehicles), but some features are only in high-end cars at this point.   

The Car Brokers can help you determine the best vehicle for your specific needs and then find and negotiate the best deal for it. Email us at thecarbrokers.co.nz - we’ll do the hard work and save you money.