Consider safety for first car

Colac Toyota's John Williams Junior with a Toyota Camry, a car which makes the TAC's first-car list.

ROAD safety advocates want Colac and district young people to consider safety when buying a car.

The Transport Accident Commission has produced a first- car list, rating cars on their safety and crashworthiness.

Colac Toyota retail sales manager John Williams Junior said he saw too many young people opting for style over safety when buying their first car.

“They all want something that looks cool,” he said.

“But you’ve got to entertain what it’s going to cost you to run, what it’s going to cost you to maintain.

“A lot of kids, I don’t think they look at that enough.”

Mr Williams said he thought young people should also learn to drive manual cars, to increase their skill level.

“I have huge concerns the amount of kids that go for a licence now and only get an automatic licence,” he said.

“I honestly believe if kids spent more time learning to drive a manual their skills would be so much better.

“Their co-ordination would be better.”

TAC chief executive officer Janet Dore said young people were over-represented in road trauma.

“Research shows if all young drivers upgraded to cars with a four or five star safety rating, road trauma could drop by up to 25 per cent,” she said.

“We know it can be an expensive exercise buying that first car, but we have a solution that does not involve spending huge amounts of money, and it could save your life.

“Buying a safe car doesn’t have to cost a fortune.”

The TAC has put together the first-car list by using a used car rating system.

Monash University’s Accident Research Centre compiled the system by analysing details of five million traffic crashes Australia-wid.

The cars which feature on the list have a crashworthiness rating of three, four and five.

A car rated five for crashworthiness will do significantly less harm to the occupants than the average.

The list is available online at www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au

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