Survey shows value of vehicle safety to motorists
Director of Land Transport Safety Reg Barrett said the survey results are a concern with many New Zealand families soon to take to the roads on summer holidays.
"Vehicle safety features can save lives in the event of a crash. This survey indicates that motorists need to ask more questions and give safety features a higher priority when choosing their cars," he said.
"While we certainly understand the importance of a vehicle's price tag to consumers, safety isn't necessarily expensive. Some good results in the latest round of ANCAP crash tests were achieved by less expensive vehicles."
Safety features ranked only fifth in the survey of factors which motorists take into account when purchasing a vehicle. The most important factor cited was cost, followed by vehicle design or size, appearance and the manufacturer's reputation.
The LTSA conducted the survey after it joined the Australian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) in July. The results now provide a benchmark to measure the impact of actively publicising crash test and vehicle safety information.
Mr Barrett said the latest ANCAP results had been pulling in record numbers of visitors to the LTSA website since being posted last month, with a total of 21,000 visits to the site in November.
Mr Barrett said that vehicle safety should be an important consideration all the time, not only when making a purchase.
"People need to be concerned about the condition of their vehicles whenever they drive, but especially at this time of year when a lot of families will be on the road making long trips. It's always a good idea to have your vehicle inspected before starting a journey."
ANCAP crash test results can be viewed on the LTSA website, at www.ltsa.govt.nz. The site also includes tips for maintaining your vehicle safely and for buying a safe used vehicle.
The LTSA survey on
vehicle safety interviewed 500 motorists in the Wellington
region in late July and early August this year.