The turning point of vehicle safety

When you’ve made the decision to purchase a salvage vehicle, there are a few things to take into consideration. The main thing, aside from your ability to re-register it, is its safety rating. Prior to the vehicle becoming written off, did it have a good safety rating? Before you purchase that salvage vehicle, consider how safe it was on the road, and how safe it can be again.

Below you will find information on time periods relating to vehicle safety ratings so you can make an informed decision on vehicles to salvage.


Considered classics, the cars of the 1970s fall into that ‘gray area’ of being nice to own, but dangerous to drive. There are so many reasons to salvage a classic or vintage car, but there are just as many reasons not to. However, for the sake of investment and good memories, a pre-1970s car is a salvageable vehicle provided it doesn’t become your daily driver.
During this time period, the three-point seatbelt came into effect, giving the car a much safer feature than its predecessors.
They began rolling out of the factory with front disc brakes as standard as well, and this allowed better stopping with such large wheels to contend with.
What a 1970s car has over its modern counterpart is visibility. Visibility has certainly decreased in modern vehicles. In classic cars, belt lines were shorter, A-pillars were thinner, rear windows were larger and situational awareness was much more pronounced. The lack of technology also enabled a driver to concentrate on the road without distraction.



Power steering came into its own and allowed vehicles to become easier to handle. This was a step in the right direction. Fuel tanks also had to be located inside the car’s frame which made them less of a fire-risk on the road.
Vehicles from 1980 through until 1990 are not as safe as modern-day vehicles, but vast improvements were made to ensure they kept the drivers safer than they were in the 1970s.



The 1990s were a turning point for a vehicle’s safety rating, and it’s becoming more and more common to try salvage a piece of 1990s history by fixing a previously wrecked car.

The 1990s saw the introduction of airbags as well as crumple zones. People felt safer, and they were safer. Along with airbags came vehicles with both driver and passenger side mirrors, as well as front wheel drive. Rear wheel drive became a less common option

Prior to the 1990s, vehicles generally handled terribly in any weather that wasn’t sunshine. This all changed in the 1990s with safety improvements making them far better in cold weather road handling.



If you’re looking to buy a salvage vehicle and turn it back into a working, registered car, a car from the 2000s is a good option. The turn of the century saw the introduction of ABS and dual airbags as standard, a 3-point restraint for rear middle passengers, passenger head restraints and child seat anchors. Four-wheel disc brakes were also becoming common place, as were wide tires, better stopping distances and far superior handling than ever before.


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