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SEE| Here are 5 cars in SA that tick the 'safety box' for women

2019-08-30 04:45

AutoTrader SA

Image: Wheels24

The month of August in South Africa celebrates women and their contributions to history and contemporary society. But, one aspect pertaining to women certainly does not call for a celebration.

According to the book – Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men – by Caroline Criado Perez, women are 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a car crash than men – and they’re 17% more likely to die.

This is because of the way in which vehicles are designed, the way they are tested (which is to use the average weight and height of a caucasian male), the seating position of women, and the actual make-up of the female form.

According to George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, safety should be the single-most important point for any woman to consider when purchasing a car. 

So, which cars tick the safety box?

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post says:
"Safety features, and vehicle rigidity tops my list when it comes to what I am looking for in a vehicle, and women have always prioritised this above a good-looking car, and power figures - these are important too. I also want to know how safe child occupancy is, and are there Isofix fittings for a child- or booster seat."

Mienie says that most of the new cars launched in South Africa are indeed very safe. However, these vehicles are truly at the top of their games:

1. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

                                               Image: Motorpress                                           

The reigning AutoTrader South African Car of the Year, the A-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the circumstances, this can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles. It also comes with Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC.

"It can keep the vehicle ahead at a safe distance. This even works at speeds in excess of 200 km/h – not that I would ever encourage someone to travel at that speed,” says Mienie.

The A-Class has achieved the maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating, with an average score of 88.5% - making it best in class.

2. Volvo XC40

                                               Image: Wheels24

Volvo is synonymous with safety and, according to Mienie, the XC40 was recently named the best car in the world by a jury of female motoring journalists.

“This vehicle recently won the Women’s World Car of the Year,” reveals Mienie.

The XC40 comes with City Safety, which identifies other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals ahead, warning you if a collision is imminent.

"If you don’t react in time, it will brake automatically to help avoid or mitigate a collision” Mienie explains.

It achieved the maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating, with an average score of 82.75%.

3. BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 series

                                                Image: Newspress

The BMW 1 Series has long been favoured by safety-conscious female buyers. However, when the all-new 1 Series arrives in South Africa later this year, Mienie says its safety credentials will be even more impressive than before.

"It’s interesting to see that the all-new 1 Series has a number of driver assistance systems that have been taken from models higher up the BMW range.

"Standard equipment in Europe includes collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function, which also alerts the driver to the presence of cyclists. Also fitted as standard is the Lane Departure Warning system with active lane return, which is operational from 70 to 210 km/h,” he reveals.

4. Lexus ES

lexus,lexus es,es 250

                                                Image: Charlen Raymond

According to Mienie, the Lexus ES achieved a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating with an average score of 86.25%.

"This is one of the highest the organisation recorded for any car during its extremely stringent 2018 assessment process,” he explains.

In South Africa, the 300h (hybrid) derivative boasts the Lexus Safety System+ as standard. Features of the Lexus Safety System+ include a Pre-Crash System, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive High Beam System and a Blind Spot Monitor.

5. Volkswagen T-Cross

vw t-cross

                                                Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids

With an average Euro NCAP score of 86%, the new T-Cross – which launches in South Africa in September this year – truly ticks all the safety boxes. According to Mienie, a number of optional safety and driver assistance systems will be available on the T-Cross.

"These include Front Assist area monitoring system; the lane keeping assistant Lane Assist; Hill Start Assist; the proactive occupant protection system; ACC; Park Assist; and the Blind Spot Detection lane change assist system with integrated Rear Traffic Alert,” he concludes.

Some of these features will only be available from 2020.

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