The WA Road Safety Commission has released guide to buying safer regional vehicles to help those who drive in regional and remote Australia to choose safer vehicles.

The guide details a range of safety features which should be considered when buying a vehicle for regional use and outlines the age of a vehicle at which it is no longer suitable for remote destination travel.

Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia said the guide could be considered an addendum to the new and used car ratings guides available online.

“We know that certain features, such as auto emergency braking and intelligence speed assist, feature in many of the newer vehicles but not everyone can afford such a vehicle,” Mr Papalia said.

“So the Used Car Safety Ratings guide is a handy place to start when looking at older vehicles which are considered to be the safest.”

Mr Papalia said some of the statistics around buying safer vehicles were staggering.

“For example, we know that if all new cars had similar safety features to the safest vehicle in their class, deaths and serious injuries could be reduced by up to 40 per cent,” Mr Papalia said.

“Meanwhile, if everyone bought the safest vehicle in its class, including used cars, road safety across Australia would improve by a quarter.”

Mr Papalia said the age of a vehicle could compromise its ability to withstand the harsh conditions of the Australian outback.

“We know that the older a vehicle is, the more unreliable it becomes and that’s an important factor when considering taking a long regional journey,” Mr Papalia said.

“Newer vehicles obviously have more safety features as standard.” The Commission has also released some informational videos on the effectiveness of auto emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure warning technology.