Making safety a priority

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The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has this week announced that they will be introducing new crash ratings starting from January 2018.

ANCAP will be restructuring the rating system with one of the main focuses now being on Safety Assist Technologies. While still issuing the usual 1 to 5 star ratings, they will now be split amongst models that do not feature important safety equipment across all variants as standard.

For example, the Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai and all Skodas have autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard on every variant, while other popular models only offer this on higher-grade variants that are more expensive. The chief executive of ANCAP, James Goodwin, has stated that from 2018, “A car without AEB wouldn’t be able to get five stars”.

So, with this in mind, I thought it might be handy for a brief explanation of AEB plus the other main safety assist technologies that ANCAP will now be looking for to award a 5 Star safety rating.

AEB – Autonomous Emergency Braking. By constantly monitoring the distance between you and the vehicle in front, as well as the speed of both vehicles, this technology will automatically apply the brakes on your car to avoid rear ending the car in front. As it’s controlled by a computer, the reaction time is much faster than ours.

LDW – Lane Departure Warning. This system will warn you when you drift near, onto or over the lane markings

BSM – Blind Spot Monitoring. Usually shown on the side mirrors of your car, a light will flash or stay on when a car is in your blind spot, warning you not to merge lanes.

FMS – Fatigue Monitoring Systems. With a high percentage of road accidents caused by fatigue, this is one of the best features to have in a car. FMS uses sophisticated calculations to monitor your awareness level while you are driving, Volkswagen’s system for example, learns your driving behaviour and will warn you with an alarm to take a break when fatigue is detected.

So next time you’re looking for a new car, if these features are important to you, make sure you ask your sales consultant if these features are included as standard on the model you are looking at or if they are an added extra. With all the distractions in our lives these days, these new safety features go a long way in helping compensate for our human error and helps us to avoid whacking someone up the rear!

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