In a statement, the association said results tabled by the Road Traffic Management Corporation showed that 12 944 people died in road related accidents in 2015, and that vehicle ownership went up by two-million vehicles between 2011 and 2016, meaning 11 897 737 vehicles currently use the country's roads.
It also stated that safety continues to be taken for granted, and that buyers shopping around should judge a vehicle on its safety features and not just price.
"Too often people look only at the price tag, and “gimmick features” of a new car, and don’t put safety in their basket of requirements. But, many safety features are available, especially on newer models, which can make the difference between life and death," the statement read.
"This is also important when considering that many people who are attracted to buying (or driving) entry level vehicles are often those with the least driving experience. It makes the availability of safety features critical to overall road safety".
According to the findings, 11 of the 23 models tested were rated as having performed "poorly" with eight receiving a "moderate" score and only four an "acceptable" rating.
In addition to safety features, international safety ratings and price were used to establish a baseline score for each vehicles, with nine points being the highest score.
The association remarked while the test showed that buying a sub-R150 000 car does provide safety features as standard, "...certain makes only appear to appeal to the price-sensitive buyer with no notable safety features at all".
"What we’d like to see is that all car manufacturers include more safety features in their vehicles, and to make more use of international safety ratings such as NCAP from the region of manufacture or the region of importation. In this way, we believe, customers will be better placed to know what they are getting in terms of safety,” the AA said.
IMAGE sourced from autotribute.com