Getting young drivers into safer cars

A new campaign urging young drivers to buy the safest car they can afford is aiming to address an alarming proportion of deaths in older vehicles.

While the 107 lives lost on Victoria’s roads in the first half of this year is the second-lowest on record, the number of young driver deaths (18 to 25 years old) has increased in 2021, with the majority in older vehicles that don’t have key safety features.

A lack of safety technology in older vehicles not only increases the risk of being involved in a crash, but also provides less protection in the event of an incident.

Transport Accident Commission (TAC) research shows that young drivers place the least value on safety among all other road users when buying a car, with a preference for features such as in-car entertainment and design and look.

The TAC’s new campaign, ‘How safe is my…’, is aimed at putting safety firmly on their radar.

The campaign includes a series of videos featuring a driver and either a partner, family members, friends or pets alongside them in the vehicle.

Viewers are then asked to ‘think of the ones beside you’, with a prompt to visit the TAC’s How Safe is Your Car website

The website provides free and independent safety information on new and used cars and allows people to search by their budget or by registration number to instantly find the safety rating of their vehicle and its safety features.

Getting drivers into the safest car they can afford is a top priority of the Victorian Road Safety Strategy, which aims to halve road deaths and significantly reduce serious injuries by 2030 and reach zero road deaths by 2050.

The strategy action plan includes a $6.9 million incentives program to get 1000 young regional drivers into safer vehicles.

Data from the first half of this year also shows that the biggest contributor to the reduced road toll has been a lower number of deaths on regional roads. The 57 lives lost on regional roads is fewer than the same time last year and well below the five-year average.

The young driver vehicle safety campaign will run across social media throughout July.