Vehicle safety

Since the invention of the first motor vehicle, better designs and new technologies have influenced the safety, comfort and efficiency of personal travel. From car horns (1908) and rear view mirrors (1911) to windscreen washers (1933) and seat belts (1967), hundreds of innovations have significantly changed the safety of driving.

Today, improvements in vehicle safety are helping drivers avoid crashes and protecting occupants and other road users when crashes happen. Vehicle technology is developing at a rapid rate with new technologies on the rise. We will all benefit from these improvements as newer, safer vehicles progressively replace older vehicles on our roads.

Buying a safer car
The safety of vehicles varies considerably, so it’s important to check the safety rating before you buy. Whether you are buying a new or used car or privately importing a vehicle, there is information available to assist you in making the best decision for your needs. Visit our safe driving tips for information on new and used car safety ratings and tips for young drivers buying their first car.

Buying a safer caravan or camper trailer
The caravan and camping industry is the fastest growing domestic tourism sector in Australia, offering motorists a diverse variety of caravans and camper trailers to choose from. Visit our safe driving tips for information on buying and towing a caravan or camper trailer.

Stars on cars
To promote the purchase of cars with high crash test ratings we encourage dealers to display star ratings on all ANCAP 5-star rated cars in their showroom and lots. Find out more about the Stars on Cars program and the dealerships involved.

Design and technology
Crumple zones, curtain airbags, ESC, ABS, traction control... These are some of the vehicle safety features helping to save lives on our roads.  Visit our safe driving tips for information on current and upcoming technology and what to look for when buying a safe car.

Roadworthy vehicles are those that are fit for use on our roads. Vehicles must comply with the national Australian Design Rules (ADR’s) which are a set of minimum standards for the construction of motor vehicles and trailers. Find out more about roadworthy inspections and vehicle safety recalls.

More information

  • Visit and registration for information on registering a vehicle, insurance, vehicle types and specifications, security and theft, standards and inspections, number plates and vehicle inspections.
  • Find more information on how safer vehicles contribute to improving road safety in Towards Zero Together, South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy 2020.

Latest news


Southern Expressway Community Safety Initiatives

11 Dec 2018

The department has committed to improve safety along its transport networks and to provide some practical responses to incidents of object throwing.


Cars with defective Takata ‘Alpha’ type airbag inflators to be refused registration in South Australia from 1 November 2018

08 Sep 2018

The South Australian Registrar of Motor Vehicles will refuse the registration of light vehicles fitted with defective Takata ‘Alpha’ type airbag inflators from 1 November 2018 until they are rectified to ensure the safety of all road users.

News archive

Road safety works


Temporary closure of South Road (northbound) from Friday 5 October

28 Sep 2018

The lowered motorway constructed as part of the $801 million Torrens Road to River Torrens Project Torrens will be opened to traffic on Saturday 29 September.


Safety improvements to the Main North Road intersection with Dalkeith Road and Smith Road

04 Sep 2018

Preliminary works for the upgrade of the Main North Road intersection with Dalkeith Road and Smith Road are currently underway, with Telstra early works to commence from Wednesday 5 September.

Road safety works archive