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older cars deadlyWe used to drive vehicles that, compared to today’s models, were built like tanks.  Those vehicles from the 1940’s and 1950’s could drive through concrete walls as they were all metal from the frame to the trim.  That’s not to say that they were safer, as these older vehicles did not have nearly the amount of technology and safety features that more modern vehicles provide for drivers and passengers.  That is one way that the automotive industry has continued to improve over the years – people are driving safer vehicles now than they ever have been before, and that’s apparently profoundly so based on the results of a recent study.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or the NHTSA, recently completed and published a research paper that looked at the likelihood that a person will be killed in a car accident based on the age of the vehicle that they were driving at the time.  A link to the article can be found here.  While it should come as no surprise that older vehicles were seen as more dangerous than those that are relatively new, some of the actual percentages that were uncovered were somewhat surprising.


The baseline for the age of a vehicle that was established in the paper was between zero and three years old.  Compared to that baseline, people were more likely to be killed in car accidents by the following percentages corresponding to the following ages of the vehicles involved:

  • 4 – 7 years old – 10 percent more likely
  • 8 – 11 years old – 19 percent more likely
  • 12 – 14 years old – 32 percent more likely
  • 15 – 17 years old – 50 percent more likely
  • 18 years old or older – 71 percent more likely

Therefore, people who have vehicles that are at least 18 years old, meaning those models from 1995 or older, may want to reconsider what they are driving.  This is particularly true of parents who may be thinking of obtaining a used vehicle for one of their children who is just learning to drive, as those teens may be driving a vehicle that is simply not equipped to protect them in the event of a crash nearly as well as a newer model.

There are many reasons for this conclusion, but technology has made a big difference when it comes to the safety of drivers and passengers in recent years.  These findings are likely going to remain consistent in the years to come as vehicle technology becomes even more advanced and the protections provided to vehicle occupants become even stronger and more dependable. 

Old clunkers, as they are often called, do serve a purpose for some situations, but for many people the risks encountered may not be worth the money saved.  If you have lost someone you love in a car accident that was caused by someone else, contact the Las Vegas wrongful death lawyers at the Sam Harding Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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