New year to bring higher new car safety standards

Australia is proving to be a good market for new car safety. Earlier this month, the difference between Aussie-sold models and those released in other markets was highlighted, with India as an example.

Next year will see the standards raised even higher, as the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) increases the requirements to reach its coveted 5-Star safety award.

The crash test experts announced the news in a November 12 media release, in which it said new car safety ratings will be held to a higher benchmark through a closer partnership with the automotive market in Europe.

From January 2015, ANCAP and Euro NCAP (its sister organisation) will develop the requirements needed to reach the highest safety rating - helping fleet managers as well as individuals make safer purchasing decisions.

ANCAP Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Clarke said Australia has made great strides in road safety, and suggests the goal posts need to move if it is to continue improving.

"Improvements in vehicle safety design and development in the past few years have been swift and substantial - particularly in the realm of advanced safety assist collision avoidance technologies - and test programs the world over are adjusting their plans to match pace," he explained.

"The ANCAP Rating Road Map already takes some of these changes and advancements into account however given the rapid pace at which vehicle safety is moving, and the need for new car assessment programs (NCAPs) to acknowledge these advancements, ANCAP has revised and expanded its forward plan."

From 2015 onwards, ANCAP and its European counterpart will begin to transition into the new ratings model, combining resources in order to better serve drivers and improve fleet safety.

The new partnership aims to help inform the consumer on what constitutes a safe car and a very safe car - which can make all the difference in a traffic collision.