Are older cars a safety hazard on the road?

Not everyone can afford to buy a new vehicle every few years. Unfortunately, this means that many people are driving around in cars that are more unsafe than the ones that have recently been released. If you are driving an older model car, you should take steps to try to shore up your safety. Understanding what issues these vehicles have might help you to remain a bit safer.

One of the biggest problems is that these older cars don't have the standard safety features of newer ones. These include things like side airbags and stability control. While these might not seem like a huge deal, there are some huge benefits.

Risks of fatalities increase with age

Vehicles with a model year of 2013 to 2017 have a fatal crash frequency of around 26%. That increases to:

  • 31% for model years 2008 to 2012
  • 36% for 2003 to 2007
  • 42% for 1997 to 2002
  • 46% for 1993 to 1996
  • 53% for 1985 to 1992
  • 55% for 1984 and earlier

This doesn't mean that you should automatically run to the nearest dealership if you have an older model vehicle, but you do need to be smart when you drive. You can't add some of the now-standard safety features to these older cars, but common sense can go a long way in making sure you make it to your destination without having a car wreck.

Some of the common safety features

Many newer cars have automatic braking features that can help to avoid a crash. This is a good feature to have, but it certainly doesn't replace paying attention when you drive. If you have an older car, make sure that you aren't being distracted by anything when you drive. Things like your cellphone shouldn't be a factor when you are on the road. Lane assist and back-up assist are two other features that can help you to avoid crashes. Using basic driving techniques can help you immensely.

Do your research

Take the time to look into the safety history of any vehicle you are considering, especially if it isn't a new car. This can give you information that you can use to improve your basic plan while you are traveling. If you currently have an older model car, do the same thing so you can find out if there is anything you can do to increase the safety for you and your passengers.

Regardless of the age of your vehicle, you might choose to seek compensation if you are involved in a crash that is the fault of the other driver. Negligence shouldn't ever be overlooked.

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