Can Driving an Older Car Lead to More Accidents?

Posted on: February 29, 2024

It can be hard to part with an older car with sentimental value, and newer ones can be expensive. Those are two reasons people keep outdated vehicles, but that might not be the safest decision. Let’s see why driving an older car can lead to more accidents.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the older a vehicle is, the likelier the chance for its driver to die in a collision. Their study claims that people driving older vehicles are more at risk for losing their lives in serious crashes compared to cars that are three years old or newer:

  • Vehicles 18 or more years old: 71 percent higher risk.
  • Vehicles 8 to 11 years old: 19 percent higher risk.
  • Vehicles 4 to 7 years old: 10 percent higher risk.

Why Are Older Vehicles More Dangerous?

One of the most apparent reasons older vehicles get into more accidents is the lack of safety features. Vehicles manufactured nearly two decades ago did not have rearview cameras or other standard features. Older safety features are not as effective as the ones we see today.

Anti-lock brakes, airbags, traction control, and electronic stability control prevent accidents and minimize their impact. The absence of these features in older cars can make them more susceptible to collisions and pose a greater threat to the safety of drivers and passengers.

An older vehicle is also more prone to developing mechanical defects, like engine problems, brake failures, and tire blow-outs. Older mechanical components may deteriorate, leading to increased chances of breakdowns or malfunctions on the road – causing drivers to lose control of their cars.  

Crashworthiness is another consideration. Older vehicles are not as well-equipped to protect their occupants during crashes as new ones with better materials, design systems, and manufacturing processes. They also lack the structural integrity we see today; newer ones comply with higher safety standards.

Finally, older vehicles can be harder to maintain because their parts can be more challenging to locate. Aftermarket parts or the wrong ones can cause cars to malfunction. On top of that, younger mechanics might not be familiar with the components.

Tips For Buying Used Vehicles

It is not always possible to afford a new car with the best safety features, but you should choose a vehicle with great care. Larger vehicles provide more protection from accidents because of their size, so going bigger can be better.

Compare safety ratings and look for vehicles with the highest ones. The categories include moderate overlap front test, side crash test, and four-star ratings from the NHTSA. Keep in mind that Electronic Stability Control is vital for maintaining control on slippery roadways; that feature may not be available on specific models released before 2012.

Our Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Represent Clients Injured in Crashes

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident with an older vehicle, look no further than our experienced Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova. Call 732-705-3363 or complete our online form today to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, and we proudly assist injured clients in Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, Middlesex County, and Pennsylvania.