ANCAP emphasises importance of combination airbags

The Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has reiterated its support for including combination airbags and head protecting technology (HPT) in all new cars, after a recent study found that they could be pivotal in saving lives during an accident.

According to the ANCAP, research conducted earlier this year by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) found that combination airbags which are designed to protect both the head and torso of vehicle occupants can reduce the potential for death and injury by more than 60 per cent during side impact crashes.

The news may be of interest to any Australian fleet manager concerned about the safety of company drivers, and who are looking to mitigate the risk of serious injuries occurring during an on-road crash scenario.

The full MUARC report notes that side impact crashes account for a quarter of all vehicle casualties in Australia, and 28 per cent of all vehicle fatalities.

In a statement issued November 5, ANCAP chief executive officer Nicholas Clarke said that ANCAP crash test assessments are regularly conducted in order to evaluate the effectiveness of HPT.

"It is a mandatory requirement that a vehicle be fitted with HPT to driver and front passenger seats in order to achieve the maximum five star ANCAP safety rating," said Mr Clarke.

He went on to note that this rule will also extend to seats in the second row during the year 2014.

The ANCAP recommends that Australian consumers and businesses only look at purchasing vehicles with a full five star safety rating, as these are the ones that have meet the highest international standards of driver safety.

Organisations looking at expanding their fleet through vehicle procurement may want to take note of this, in order to ensure their drivers remain safe and looked after on the road.

Fleet services can help your business procure new vehicles at a significant discount through creating a competitive tendering environment, so there is no excuse for not investing in the safest vehicles available.