These days, most of us know to look for the ANCAP star rating when we’re buying a new car. It’s an essential indicator of the level of safety a particular model offers in a crash. And while most new cars coming into the Australian market now achieve either a 4 or 5 star rating, ANCAP recommends buying nothing less than a 5 star rated vehicle. Here’s why:
In an ANCAP 5 star rated vehicle, the prominence of green (good) in the head, body and legs illustrates a high level of protection and survivability for both driver and passenger. Yellow (acceptable), on the lower legs and the chest of the passenger, shows only a slight chance of serious injuries to these areas, which are not likely to be life threatening.
As for 1 star, if you were in a crash in an ANCAP 1 star rated car you’d be twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured than in an ANCAP 5 star rated vehicle.
Testing real-world crash situations
ANCAP carries out tests in independent laboratories that simulate a front-on collision with another car; a side-on smash; hitting a pedestrian; and colliding with a fixed object like a tree or a pole.
Data is gathered on the impact on the vehicle’s occupants, using crash test dummies. They also observe the structural impact on the passenger compartment, and factor in vehicle safety features like anti-lock braking.
To achieve an ANCAP 5 star rating, a car must achieve the highest internationally recognised standards in all test categories.
NRMA Insurance is the only Australasian insurance-based member of ANCAP. The program has recently adopted our head restraint ratings, which were included in the ANCAP star rating system from 2012.