Car Safety Ratings Explained

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In an ideal world you would never have to worry about car crashes, but accidents do happen and it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for them. When you’re looking at cars, whether they’re new or used, finding out how well it protects you and your passengers from harm is key. Five-star car safety ratings sound impressive, but what do they mean exactly? Below you will find a detailed list of how each car is comprehensively tested before it makes its way to a dealership.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is widely accepted as one of the most thorough safety checks available. It uses a star system to rate how well a vehicle protects a driver or passenger’s head, body and legs with one star being poor and five stars being good. This is determined through a series of crash tests that assess:

1.     Structural Integrity

It is important that a vehicle takes the crash forces away from the passengers of a vehicle and withstands them. This varies a lot from car to car and is assessed using crash tests that see how well a car survives after colliding with other vehicles, stationary objects and dummy pedestrians from different angles.

2.     Safety Features

For cars to get higher car safety ratings from ANCAP, they need to have built-in safety features like:

  • Antilock braking systems – this is designed to reduce tyres skidding under heavy braking, giving the driver better control over the car
  • Electronic stability control – this helps the driver to avoid over-steering, and works with the antilock braking system to reduce tyres skidding
  • Seatbelt pre-tensioners- the aim of this is to tighten any slack the seatbelt allows at the time of impact, protecting passengers from rapid movements in the event of a crash.
  • Airbags – these are activated by a sensor which detects force from a collision, inflating the airbags in less than 1/10th of a second. The aim of an airbag is to protect the head and body of passengers from impact in a collision by providing a soft “landing”.

All of these limit and control the crash forces and are absolutely critical in an emergency.

3.     Safety Assist Technologies (SAT)

An automobile safety rating needs to be able to keep up with the times. Safety technology in cars is constantly evolving, so it’s important for vehicle safety ratings to do the same. Blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning are great for your awareness while a fatigue monitoring system will make sure you’re okay to drive.

How does your car rate under ANCAP’s car safety rating? DVG performs its own safety checks to ensure you and your passengers will have a safe journey.


Call DVG today to find out more about our vehicle safety ratings today.

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