Federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has attributed his survival in a serious crash in Sydney’s inner-west last week to advancements in vehicle safety over the past decade.
The current model Toyota Camry Hybrid sedan driven by Mr Albanese was struck by a Range Rover driven by a 17-year-old P-plater.
Footage shows the curtain airbags in the Toyota Camry were deployed and Mr Albanese said he was trapped in the vehicle for a short time before emergency services arrived.
Image: Nine News/Sydney Morning Herald.
As well as surviving the impact of a two-tonne-plus Range Rover striking the driver’s door of his car, Mr Albanese was seen standing while talking to paramedics afterwards.
Mr Albanese told The Sydney Morning Herald: “If this accident was 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be speaking to you here”.
Last week, NSW authorities announced the rollout of new sneaky speed camera enforcement measures – despite the lowest road toll in the state in 97 years. While some of the road toll reduction can be attributed to less traffic amid the coronavirus crisis, dramatic improvements in car safety did not receive any credit for the 2020 result.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid being driven by Mr Albanese was awarded a five-star crash safety rating in 2017.
Mr Albanese said he was in shock after the crash and is currently on pain killers to deal with some internal injuries.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the 17-year-old driver of the Range Rover was charged with negligent driving but returned a negative breath test for alcohol.
Mr Albanese told The Sydney Morning Herald that, while he was still trapped in the car, the offending driver approached him and apologised for his actions.
“I hope that this experience leads this young man to commit to becoming one of the safest drivers that Australia has ever seen,” Mr Albanese told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Image: Nine News/SMH.
The surge in sales of SUVs, four-wheel-drives and utes has led safety experts to ponder the challenges of the “compatibility” of different sized vehicles in crashes.
Larger and heavier vehicles tend to cause more harm to occupants of smaller and lighter vehicles.
The independent authority, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), which has assessed the crash safety of hundreds of popular vehicles since 1993, began testing to even more stringent side impact standards from last year.