Everything You Need to Know About ANCAP Safety Ratings

The Automobile Not-at-Child-Protection-Accident Safety Rating, commonly known as the ANCAP rating, is a system developed and maintained by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program. Developed in response to concerns over child safety in vehicles, the rating tries to predict how safe particular cars are when involved in a crash situation. For fans of Japanese anime comedies, the acronym stands for the popular franchise, “Akira.”

What Is The ANCAP Safety Rating?

The ANCAP rating is a three-part system administered by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program. The parts are Speed Rating, Occupant Rating, and Head Impact Rating (HIR).

The Speed Rating is based on how fast a car can typically be driven before it starts to feel sluggish or off-balance. The system rates vehicles from 1 to 9, with 1 being the slowest and 9 being the safest. The rating is determined by how the tires and pavement interact under certain driving conditions.

The Occupant Rating is based on how well the vehicle manages the crash situation when occupied by adult humans. The rating system is based on the number and type of injuries sustained by crash test dummies when involved in a crash. Smaller cars and trucks are rated lower, while larger vehicles are rated higher. The rating ranges from 1 to 6, with 1 being the safest and 6 being the most unsafe.

How Is The ANCAP SAFETY RATING Determined?

The ANCAP Safety Rating is determined by the use of crash tests and dummy impact tests that assess the occupant protection performance of vehicles. To get a rating, vehicles are driven at various speeds and across various terrains while being impacted by a range of deadly crash test dummies. In addition to the speed and terrain factors, the dummy’s impact location, angle, and force all influence the rating.

After the tests are complete, the data are tabulated and then converted into an ANCAP safety rating. The program also publishes regular safety ratings, which manufacturers can use to help consumers make safer car buying decisions.

Crash Test Dummies

One of the most crucial factors influencing the safety rating of a vehicle is the way the dummies used in the tests behave during a crash. There are four different kinds of dummies used in the program:

  • Regular – These are the dummies typically found in most cars and trucks. Designed to absorb the force of a collision, they represent the average car driver in terms of height, weight, and build.
  • Super – Similar to the regular dummies, the super dummies are also used in most cars and trucks. However, these dummies are designed to undergo greater deformation in a crash, absorbing more energy.
  • Reduced – Similar to the regular dummies, the reduced dummies are also used in most cars and trucks. However, these dummies are designed to undergo less deformation in a crash, meaning they don’t absorb as much energy as the super dummies.
  • Hybrid – Also known as smart dummies or crash test safety dummies, the hybrid dummies are the next generation of crash test dummies. They are a combination of plastic, steel, and ceramic materials, which act like a human head. They are more expensive than the regular and super dummies but can perform better in terms of absorbing more energy.

What Is The Purpose Of The ANCAP Safety Rating?

The ANCAP Safety Rating is meant to help consumers make safer car buying decisions. Specifically, the agency created the rating to provide information about how safe it is to be in a car when involved in a crash. Knowing this information can help consumers determine how likely it is that they will be injured in a crash, and what kind of injuries they might sustain. Because many car-related injuries are a result of low speed impacts or rollover crashes, the safety rating can also be used to determine how much protection a headrest provides. Finally, the agency created the rating to try and prevent future injuries and deaths from automobile accidents. To that end, the agency performs regular safety inspections (known as compliance checks) of vehicles to make sure they are roadworthy and meet safety standards. If a car fails to pass its latest compliance check, it will be rated lower than its prior iteration. The agency also keeps a lookout for vehicles that may be unsafe and lists them on its website for the public to see. As a last resort, the agency can also issue a seizure notice and put a hold on the vehicle until it meets all safety requirements.

What Should Consumers Know About The ANCAP Safety Rating?

When determining the safety rating of a car, most consumers should not look at the the rating alone. Instead, they should look at how the rating was determined, what data was used, and the like. As noted by the agency, cars can be rated highly despite having safety features such as airbags and automatic seatbelt tighteners. In other words, the safety rating of a car is not necessarily a reflection of how safe it is but instead how well it was designed and built.

To get the most accurate reading on how safe a car is, consumers should also look into the dummy impact tests performed on that car. In particular, they should look into the specific results of the tests, which can be found in the agency’s crash test reports or on its website.

By knowing the basics about the rating system, consumers can make better-educated decisions about the safety of individual vehicles. It is also crucial that manufacturers and service providers understand how the system works and what kind of information they need to provide to get the best possible rating.

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