This research aimed to inform measures that will encourage lower demand for 1 and 2 star-rated cars. If more New Zealanders made informed choices to switch from buying lowly-safety-rated to highly-rated cars (or no cars at all) the supply mix would have to change and an improved national fleet would result in better safety outcomes.
Of the survey respondents who owned 1-2 star cars, 86% did not know their vehicle’s true star safety rating (including those who were unsure about it and a significant group who incorrectly believed they already had a safer vehicle). Where people do understand their vehicle’s rating, the majority (95%) have the intent to purchase a safer vehicle next time, with evidence that this group is influenced and motivated by improved vehicle safety knowledge.
The researchers found that to increase the demand for safer cars, the critical elements would be to increase public awareness of a vehicle’s star safety rating at the purchase point and to educate the current owners of cars with 1 or 2 stars at appropriate points such as getting a Warrant of Fitness and vehicle registration.
In addition, an effort should be made to direct vehicle purchasers to reputable, up-to-date sources of information, and to encourage their informal advisors (friends and family) to do the same.
behaviour change, driving, road safety, vehicle purchasing, vehicle safety
L Malcolm, WSP New Zealand, Lower Hutt
W Frith, WSP New Zealand, Lower Hutt
J Thomas, WSP New Zealand, Napier
J Burton, WSP New Zealand, Lower Hutt
F Thomas, WSP New Zealand, Lower Hutt