The warning came after The Sunshine Coast Daily reported a family had thanked their car manufacturer for their vehicle’s safety features after surviving a head-on crash last week.
RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Steve Spalding said it was very important people who were in the market for a new or used vehicle considered the safety ratings.
“For example, if you’re looking for a used car and you choose a one-star vehicle you’re almost twice as likely to be killed or seriously hurt in a crash than someone in a five-star car,” Mr Spalding said.
“Even cars which seem very similar can have dramatically different levels of protection, so it is important to do your research.”
Mr Spalding said improved technology in the new car market meant cars were continually getting safer.
“While not everyone can afford a new car, there are still safe options in both markets and RACQ has a number of resources available to help you make a decision,” he said.
“You don’t need to spend a fortune, it’s about making smart choices and picking the safest car that you can afford.”
The latest RACQ Used Car Safety Ratings could be found here, and drivers could speak to a motoring specialist by calling RACQ’s Motoring Advice Service team on (07) 3666 9148.