Do 5 star crash ratings change over time?

Vehicle development seems to be advancing at a rapid pace in recent years, with automotive manufacturers racing to keep up with the demands of fleet managers and motorists. 

While more vehicles than ever before are rolling off the production line with life-saving safety technology, are regulatory bodies responding to this increase in security?

ANCAP safety ratings evolve

Drivers across the country will be pleased to note that the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) regularly adapts and evolves its reporting criteria, so its regulations are in check with industry standards. This keeps vehicle manufacturers on their toes while encouraging them to provide more extensive safety solutions for their customers. 

This is not a new development either, with ANCAP reviewing its 5 star criteria regularly over the past 15 years. 

One of the earliest changes occurred in 2001, when frontal offset and side impact collisions were added to the rigorous testing processes vehicles needed to pass to achieve a 5 star rating. 

This continued throughout the decade as the organisation turned its attention to preventative technology as well as actual impact protection. This means five star safety ratings are not just about surviving collisions, but avoiding them as well. If drivers are better equipped to react in testing situations, this should reduce the demand on fleet maintenance

Now, ANCAP has committed to increasing these standards annually, a pace that comes close to matching the rapid development of safety technologies observed in the rest of the industry. 

These changes can be seen by ANCAP's approach to head protection technology. From 2011 to 2014, vehicles only needed to have it for the front seats to achieve a five star rating. From 2015, however, vehicles will need to include it in the second row of seating as well, forcing manufacturers to commit to safer vehicles. 

With this ongoing competition between ANCAP and vehicle manufacturers, the end result is likely to be safer cars and safer roads for fleet managers and their drivers.