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Does the car you are driving increase your risk of crashing?

Every driver knows certain behaviors can increase the risk of getting into a crash: distractions, driving while tired or intoxicated. However, did you know you could be at an increased risk of crashing based on the type of car you drive?

“Retirement” vehicles

Older drivers often drive cars that they are comfortable driving. Many seniors stick to driving one car for many years, often believing that an older, well-maintained car is safer than a new one. They also may have little or no desire for a vehicle with the advanced technology that comes as standard equipment in new cars, trucks and SUVs.

This means, older drivers are often driving older cars. These so-called “retirement vehicles” are typically smaller than cars and trucks made today. They also have far fewer safety features, like blind-spot warnings, lane-centering technology and additional airbags, making drivers more at risk for crashing and suffering more serious injuries if they do. Keep in mind that accidents even at speeds appropriate for residential neighborhoods can cause grave injuries.

Defective vehicles

Motor vehicles are complex machines that must be properly designed, manufactured, maintained and repaired. A simple malfunction can put drivers, passengers and pedestrians in danger. Millions of cars have been recalled recently, often by manufacturers you’ve trusted for decades. Defective parts can include:

  • Steering systems
  • Accelerators
  • Brakes
  • Airbags
  • Tires

Any vehicle – old or new – with these or other defects can be highly dangerous for their owners and others on the road as well.

Small vehicles

While some car companies are making larger vehicles, others are making much smaller cars that are more cost-effective and fuel-efficient.  Compact sedans, motorcycles and other small vehicles can be more likely to be in a collision than larger cars for a few reasons.

  • Visibility: Smaller cars can be harder to see, especially when they are in a blind spot or behind larger vehicles.
  • Judging distance: The size of small cars makes it more difficult for others to judge their speed accurately.
  • Weight: A strong gust of wind, a passing truck or highway debris can toss a small vehicle into harms way. And, small cars have less crash protection than larger automobiles.

Getting help after an accident

Even if you drive the safest car in the country, you have no control over other drivers with whom you share the road. At some point in your life, you or someone you know will likely be in a motor vehicle accident.

Once you have received necessary medical treatment for your injuries, secure your rights by contacting a personal injury lawyer. If another person (or a company) is responsible for your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

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