Safer Vehicles

Vehicle safety is constantly advancing and we promote appropriate technologies that will help reduce road trauma.

Advances in car safety technologies have significantly contributed to a decline in deaths and injuries on our roads as more vehicles are fitted with curtain airbags (for head protection), traction control, intelligent speed assist (ISA), anti-locking braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC).

ESC is one of the latest safety technologies and has become a legal requirement for all new cars sold in Australia. It enables drivers to maintain control of their vehicle in slippery or difficult conditions, on gravel or if turning sharply.

Other safe vehicle technologies we support include:

  • Fatigue sensing technologies
  • Intelligent breath testing technology – this can assess whether a driver is over the alcohol limit by reading breath in the cabin as well as sensory readings through the skin
  • Seatbelt interlocks - prevent cars being driven if the driver is not belted

Encouraging people to drive safe vehicles is a cornerstone of the TAC safe system model and we urge all drivers to visit our How Safe is Your Car? website – now easily viewed on a mobile phone. Car buyers and car owners can check the safety of a vehicle based on independent information about new and used cars on the Australian market.

How Safe Is Your Car? is continually being updated with the latest car safety information. It gives a 1 to 5 Star rating for vehicles based on results from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) or Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR).

Safer vehicle fleets

Employers are responsible for ensuring fleet cars their staff drive are in sound mechanical condition and have a high safety rating. They also need to ensure employees are committed to driving responsibly in their fleet cars. This is why we encourage all businesses to adopt a fleet safety policy to protect their workers and the community.

Road crashes are the most common form of work-related fatalities, injuries and absence from work, with research showing ¼ of all Australian company cars are involved in a crash each year. Reasons for this include drivers risking fatigue and speeding to meet tight schedules and a lack of concern about vehicle safety as it is a company car.

Our funded programs for safer vehicles in 2012-2013 include:

  • Educating the community about buying safe vehicles with particular focus on head protecting technology such as curtain airbags for passenger vehicles.
  • A focus on encouraging utes and commercial vans to use curtain airbags and electronic stability controls (ESC).
  • Taking part in the 2013 Australian International Motor Show and highlighting the importance of safety when buying a new vehicle.
  • Vehicle safety campaigns aimed at parents and carers of new drivers as these inexperienced drivers are usually in cheaper vehicles with a low safety rating.
  • Educating the community about the safety benefits of electronic stability control (ESC) and other safety technologies.
  • Crash testing popular passenger and light commercial vehicles using the Australasian New Car Assessment program and including common second hand vehicles in the Used Car Safety Rating Program (UCSR).
  • Testing the features a vehicle needs to prevent injury in a rollover – the Dynamic Rollover Occupant Protection (DROP) Research Program.
  • Promoting safer child restraints through the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) and detailed YouTube footage on the correct way to install child restraints.