The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has released the results of its first car-to-car crash test, which showcases the improvements made in vehicle safety over the past two decades, as well as the benefits of newer, safer cars.

The vehicles involved in the test are both Toyota Corolla hatchbacks, one from 1995 and the other from 2015. Both cars participated in a frontal offset test conducted at 64 km/h, and as you can see, the 1985 Corolla sustained catastrophic structural failure.

The readings recorded by the crash test dummy indicated an extremely high risk of serious head, chest and leg injury to the driver, resulting in score of just 0.4 out of 16 points (zero stars) for the 1985 Corolla. By comparison, the 2015 Corolla scored 12.93 out of 16 points, granting it a five star safety rating.

According to an analysis by car safety performance assessment programme, while older vehicles (those built 2000 or earlier) account for just 20% of the registered Australian vehicle fleet, they’re involved in 33% of fatality crashes.

On the other hand, newer vehicles (those built between 2011 and 2016) make up 31% of the fleet yet are involved in just 13% of fatality crashes. “It is concerning the rate of fatal crashes is four times higher for older vehicles than for new vehicles,” said ANCAP CEO, James Goodwin.

“Safety is not a luxury and we want everyone to remain safe on the road, so consumers should look for the safest car they can afford and the safest car that suits their needs. The outcomes of this test are stark and the automotive, finance and insurance industries can play a part to assist in encouraging people into newer, safer cars,” he added.

This test of old vs new was also conducted by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) to mark its 20th anniversary. In its testing, Euro NCAP pitted a 20-year old Rover 100 (aka Metro) against a 2015 Honda Jazz in the same frontal offset test conducted at 64 km/h.