DANGER ZONE: How you can avoid chilling road statistic
ALARMING new statistics have revealed Queensland's youngest drivers were hitting the road in some of the oldest and most unsafe cars on the market, prompting a safety warning from the motoring body.
RACQ has released its annual Used Car Safety Ratings Buyer's Guide which put more than 300 used cars under the microscope to find the best and worst second-hand vehicles on the market, based on real-world crash research by Monash University.
RACQ head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said young drivers typically spend $6000 on their first cars and their vehicles were on average 11 years old.
"It's concerning our youngest drivers, with the least amount of on-road experience are getting around in some of the oldest cars - with some only rated one or two stars for safety," he said.
"It's important first-time drivers and their parents consider the safety star ratings which indicate how well each vehicle protects the driver, occupants and other road users in a crash.
"To give some perspective, a person driving a one-star vehicle is almost twice as likely to be killed or seriously hurt than someone in a five-star car. So instead of opting, for example a Daewoo Lanos (1997-2003 models), which has a one star rating, we would encourage drivers to buy a Honda City (2009-2013 models) which has five stars."
Mr Spalding urged young drivers to do their research to ensure they choose a safe option in the used car market.
"We know around half of all young drivers opt to buy a light or small car. Using our guide, they can find 'safer pick' options which can still be affordable, like the Mazda3 (2013-2017 models) and the Nissan Pulsar (2012-2017 models)," he said.
"Whatever you do, always aim to buy a vehicle with the best star rating within your budget. It could save a life."