The importance of electronic stability control

As a fleet manager in Australia, you know protecting the lives of your drivers and other road users is an important concern. It is therefore crucial to understand the safety features available in your fleet vehicles.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has released a statement urging all car buyers to consider only purchasing cars with electronic stability control (ESC).

A new entrant to the Australasian market, the Tata Xenon, was recently crash tested by ANCAP and received a poor 2 star ANCAP safety rating. While the utility vehicle performed well in a majority of the trials, the lack of ESC prevented the ute from achieving a higher score.

"While ESC is not a regulatory requirement for light commercial vehicles as yet, ANCAP introduced ESC as one of its mandatory requirements [for 5 stars] more than six years ago," ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh explained in a March 21 media release.

Mr McIntosh revealed that ANCAP has recently raised the safety bar, making ESC a necessary feature for 5, 4, 3 and 2 star ratings.

ANCAP recommends drivers only choose cars rated 5 stars, as vehicles rated any lower pose serious risk of injury and even death during an accident.

Common factors that can affect a vehicle's ANCAP rating include failure to make ESC standard, lacking side and curtain airbags, and the installation of ineffective seatbelts.

Fortunately, if you require a 5 star rated ute for your business, there are a number of popular choices with the highest standard of safety. These include the recently tested Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max, which each received top marks in December's round of testing.

"There is an exceptional range of 5 star cars across all market segments. Whether you are after a large car, an SUV, a people mover, a small car, it doesn't matter - there are many 5 star cars in every market category - accept nothing less," Mr McIntosh expressed.

Choosing to purchase only 5 star ANCAP rated vehicles will allow your staff to drive with complete peace of mind, and can leave you to focus on important fleet services, such as maintenance and management, rather than safety.