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Accid Anal Prev. 2008 May;40(3):994-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.11.006. Epub 2007 Dec 18.

How important is vehicle safety in the new vehicle purchase process?

Author information

1
Monash University Accident Research Centre, Building 70, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia. Sjaanie.Koppel@muarc.monash.edu.au

Abstract

Whilst there has been a significant increase in the amount of consumer interest in the safety performance of privately owned vehicles, the role that it plays in consumers' purchase decisions is poorly understood. The aims of the current study were to determine: how important vehicle safety is in the new vehicle purchase process; what importance consumers place on safety options/features relative to other convenience and comfort features, and how consumers conceptualise vehicle safety. In addition, the study aimed to investigate the key parameters associated with ranking 'vehicle safety' as the most important consideration in the new vehicle purchase. Participants recruited in Sweden and Spain completed a questionnaire about their new vehicle purchase. The findings from the questionnaire indicated that participants ranked safety-related factors (e.g., EuroNCAP (or other) safety ratings) as more important in the new vehicle purchase process than other vehicle factors (e.g., price, reliability etc.). Similarly, participants ranked safety-related features (e.g., advanced braking systems, front passenger airbags etc.) as more important than non-safety-related features (e.g., route navigation systems, air-conditioning etc.). Consistent with previous research, most participants equated vehicle safety with the presence of specific vehicle safety features or technologies rather than vehicle crash safety/test results or crashworthiness. The key parameters associated with ranking 'vehicle safety' as the most important consideration in the new vehicle purchase were: use of EuroNCAP, gender and education level, age, drivers' concern about crash involvement, first vehicle purchase, annual driving distance, person for whom the vehicle was purchased, and traffic infringement history. The findings from this study are important for policy makers, manufacturers and other stakeholders to assist in setting priorities with regard to the promotion and publicity of vehicle safety features for particular consumer groups (such as younger consumers) in order to increase their knowledge regarding vehicle safety and to encourage them to place highest priority on safety in the new vehicle purchase process.

PMID:
18460367
DOI:
10.1016/j.aap.2007.11.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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