What must a safe family car have and is your family car safe enough to protect the kids and other loves ones?
We all want to be safe regardless of wherever you are, whether its at home, work or being out with the kids. Safety on the road is just as important and we must do what we can to protect our loved ones. This means looking for a safe family car. What must a safe family car have and is your family car safe enough to protect the kids and other loves ones?
What is safe family car?
According to ANCAP safety program, approximately 90% of the crashes on the roads involve some sort of human error – that’s why safety is so important when driving the family around.
Safety in a car can mean many things. The one thing that everyone who drives should know is that their cars need to provide the best protection possible for everyone in the car – including adults, babies and kids.
What should I know about family car safety?
A seat belt will be the most obvious technology that we all know and use. Every time we get behind the wheel and before we get going, we make sure that everyone else including the kids have got them on. Seat belts are just the start when it comes to safety and must be worn if we don’t want to end up with a fine on the road.
There are many other technologies that keeps us safe. These technologies we don’t see but they are there to help in case of an emergency. These include Car’s body, ABS & ESC, Airbags, Crash warning and avoidance .
A car’s body and the way it’s put together can save lives. In an accident, a family car with a good structural body can protect everyone in the car. The body of the car does this by absorbing all the energy itself rather than passing it onto the people inside the car. All other parts of the car that can move in an car crash are also held tightly by a good body so they don’t injure people in the car.
What is ABS and why it’s important
Imagine if you are dropping the kids off at school and on the school road, one of the other kids runs in front your car. Naturally, you will slam the brakes and want to stop as soon as you can. When you do that, the brakes lock up and can cause the car to skid without you having any control over it. That’s where ABS comes in handy.
ABS is a system that we don’t see but it is connected to the brakes of the car. It stops the wheels of the car from suddenly locking and spinning the car out of control. It’s there to help drivers stay in control of the car in case of an emergency. So now when you brake, the car will not skid and stop in a shorter distance potentially stopping before the child that’s run in front of the car.
What is ESC and why it saves lives
ESC is another one of the hidden systems that is there to save lives. The best way to describe this is with an example.
Imagine that you are driving on a motorway and a car slams their brakes in front of you. You will naturally want to avoid running into the back of that car so you turn the steering wheel as quickly as you can. Turning the steering quickly can make the car become unstable and skid without you having any control over it.
Enter ESC which is there in the background checking the steering wheel and the way the car is going. If the steering is turned quickly to avoid running into the back of the car, this system will control the power and brakes to bring the car back into line – straighter and safer than it would be if it wasn’t there. ESC is also really helpful in large family cars like SUVs that are generally higher than normal cars.
Many of us know of airbags in cars but hopefully not many of us have seen them explode in our car. These are there to avoid any injuries or death in case of an accident. The airbags are found in many places in the car. Family car buyers should look for front, side, curtain and knee airbags in the car they are about to buy. This will make sure everyone is as safe as possible in case of an accident.
On airbags, one thing we must not do is have our legs on the dash of the car. We have seen several accidents around the world where the front seat passenger has had their legs on the dashboard and the airbag explodes after an accident, forcing their knees through their chest and face. This causes serious injury and should be avoided.
Crash warning and avoidance
There are other technologies coming in new family cars that will make cars even safer. AEB is one of these technologies.
AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking)
If your family car has an AEB system, the car will brake on its own in case the driver fails to stop and is heading into the back of another car or worse, a truck. This will either avoid a car crash all together or lower the chance of it being a big accident hence protecting everyone in the car. Not all car companies call it the same so be sure to check for “Active Braking” or similar words when shortlisting family cars.
How do I know if my car is safe?
According to ANCAP, approximately 90% of the crashes on the roads involve some sort of human error – that’s why safety is so important when driving the family around.
To make it easier for Australian families, organisations like ANCAP regularly crash tests cars. After testing, they give each car a score out of 5 stars. 5 star rating means the car is really safe. To make it easier, we have put together the most popular family cars and their safety ratings.
- Mazda CX-5 – 5 stars
- Hyundai Tucson – 5 stars
- Holden Commodore – 5 stars
- Toyota Camry – 5 stars
- Toyota Rav4 – 5 stars
- Mitsubishi ASX – 5 stars
- Nissan X-Trail – 5 stars
- Mazda CX-3 – 5 stars
- Mitsubishi Outlander – 5 stars
They are all 5 star rated cars for safety. To make it easier to compare, on carloop, safety ratings are listed for every car ANCAP has tested.
New or Used – Which is safer?
Safety in cars has come a long way even in recent years. New cars are much safer than many used cars. Used cars might not have some of the safety features and technologies we have touched on in this article. According to ANCAP, rate of fatal crashes can be 4 times higher in older cars than in new cars.
There are 2 checks used car buyers can do when it comes to safety. First is to check ANCAP’s website for the year the used car was made in. The second is Monash University’s Used car safety ratings guide. We recommend having a look through both and finding the safest car with 5 star safety rating for your family.
Baby & Car Seats
Car seats for kids, babies and toddlers are there to protect the little ones when they are on the road. These seats keep them safe and secure in case of an accident. Having the right car seat that matches the age of the kids is very important and there are legal requirements for parents. Parents should follow these guidelines when thinking about car seats for the kids:
Babies up to 6 months
Approved rear facing child car seat
Toddlers and Kids between 6 months to 4 years
Approved rear or forward facing child car seat
Kids 4+ years old
Approved forward facing child car seat or booster seat
Kids taller than 145cm
Can wear normal adult seatbelt
Babies under 6 months old must be in a rear facing seat. These seats support the head, neck and spine of the baby. They are designed to distribute the impact of the crash across the shell of the car seat. In fact, kids between 2-3 years are five times less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash if they are sitting in a rear facing car seat. For more on legal requirements, check out Child Car Seats website.
Safety for the family
We all want our families to be safe regardless of wherever they are. For the road, when it comes to looking for a new or used car, we strongly recommend going for cars that have an ANCAP safety rating of 5 stars. These cars come with family safety in mind and save lives.
To make it easier for you and your family to compare safety, every new car on carloop has the latest safety ratings.