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 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


All cars with “critical” defective Takata airbags to be refused registration in South Australia

07 Aug 2020

All remaining cars fitted with a critical defective Takata type airbag inflator will now be refused registration in South Australia from Monday, 10 August until they are rectified, to ensure the safety of all road users.


Safety label reminder for electric and hybrid vehicle owners

27 Jul 2020

As the popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles grows, DPTI reminds potential traders and buyers of the requirement to fix a safety label onto their numberplates.

News archive

Road safety works


McIntyre Road night works

17 Feb 2020

Works to improve ride quality will be undertaken on McIntyre Road between The Golden Way and Wright Road, commencing each night from 7pm, Tuesday, 18 February to 6am, Friday, 6 March, weather permitting.


11.6km of South Eastern Freeway to be resurfaced

04 Feb 2020

The South Australian Government is delivering $7.39 million worth of essential resurfacing works to five sections of the South Eastern Freeway between Mount Barker and Callington, with night works beginning this week.

Road safety works archive


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