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Don't buy a car without ESC and curtain airbags

24 MAY, 2009

Victorians are being urged to put safety first when buying their next car as part of the TAC’s new campaign to reduce trauma on our roads.

TAC Road Safety Manager, Samantha Cockfield said a new public education campaign would start tonight starring James O’Loghlin from The New Inventors asking people to choose a car that has the advanced safety features Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and side-head protecting technology, like curtain airbags.

At this morning’s launch, Ms Cockfield said, “Choose a car that could save your life. If the car you are considering doesn’t have ESC and curtain airbags, it should be crossed off your list.”

“We’d like to see safety as the number one consideration for all Victorians when buying their next car. Consumers must demand these life saving technologies from manufacturers,” said Ms Cockfield.

Recent TAC research indicates that safety is the most important factor influencing 66% of respondents’ choice of new car, with ESC and side curtain airbags often mentioned as a safety feature sought. 

The take-up of advanced safety features such as ESC is about 70% in leading European countries. However, Victoria is lagging behind with less than 50% of new vehicles sold having ESC and only about 40% having side curtain airbags.

“Improving the average level of safety of vehicles on Victoria’s roads will significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries resulting from crashes.”

“We are pleased that the Victorian Government has mandated that all new cars will need to be fitted with ESC from 2011 and side head protecting technology like curtain airbags from 2012,” said Ms Cockfield.

Australian research shows that ESC reduces the risk of a single car injury crash by up to 30% with no other safety device having such potential. Research conducted in the USA estimates that head protecting airbags can reduce driver deaths in the event of a side impact crash by close to 40%.

Ms Cockfield said the latest public education campaign encourages consumers to take the lead and to demand these lifesaving technologies now.

“If it’s important enough to mandate, it’s important enough to buy it now,” she said.

The campaign starts from tonight on TV, radio, outdoor billboards and online.

Download a list of Cars with ESC and side head-protecting airbags as standard (pdf 675k)

 


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