Newer vehicles are no doubt safer, but many people in Kentucky choose to drive older ones. It could be that you’re among that number. While legitimate concerns about money will dominate most people’s choices in this field, one team of researchers encourages everyone to prioritize safety.
Two age groups in particular need to do this: newly licensed teens and adults aged 65 and older. These groups, researchers found, are more likely than middle-aged adults are to drive an older car. And they happen to be the two groups at the highest risk for a car crash.
Older vehicles lack critical features
The researchers, who are part of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted a study on this matter and published the results in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention. After analyzing all the car crashes that occurred in New Jersey between 2010 and 2017, they took the VIN of each vehicle and determined several things, such as:
• Vehicle age
• Engine power
• The presence of electronic stability control
• The presence of side and curtain airbags
Older vehicles lacked these airbags as well as the ESC. The latter is especially effective in preventing crashes as it stabilizes a vehicle on slippery roads and sharp curves. Its ability to avert collision-related deaths is akin to that of seatbelts.
Comparing low- and high-income drivers
Drivers in lower-income neighborhoods were, across all ages, more likely to own older vehicles than those in higher-income neighborhoods. Teens in the former would drive cars that are, on average, twice as old as that driven by their higher-income peers. Still, researchers point out that safe vehicles can be purchased for relatively low prices with some available for under $7,000.
Legal assistance for accident victims
You may have a valid personal injury case on your hands if the driver who hit you was clearly at fault. Claims involving car accidents can be hard to argue since insurance companies have their legal team ready to deny payment, so you may want a lawyer to represent you at the negotiation table and, if necessary, in the courtroom.