Safety of Older CarsJune 5, 2018
Just because something is new does not always mean it is better. However, when it comes to cars, this is not the case, as research shows that newer models are safer than older cars, thanks to the advances in safety technology.
As summer approaches, and more travelers are on the road, motorists who drive older cars are urged to get their vehicles serviced in order to minimize the chance of breakdowns or serious accidents.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more serious injuries and fatalities occurred in car accidents involving older-model vehicles compared to newer models. Using data from the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), from 2012 to 2016, NHTSA organized the vehicles that were involved in fatal wrecks by age, from zero to three years old, to 18 and older.
Researchers found that as the age of the car increased, so did the percentage of motorists who were fatally injured. Based on the study results, the following breakdown shows the percentage of motorists fatally injured and the model year of the car:
- 1984 and older: 55 percent
- 1985-1992: 53 percent
- 1993-1997: 46 percent
- 1998-2002: 42 percent
- 2003-2007: 36 percent
- 2008-2012: 31 percent
- 2013-2017: 26 percent
In addition to the NHTSA study, AAA warns that vehicles that are 10 years and older are twice as likely to break down and four times as likely to need a tow. Additionally, according to AAA, over half of the vehicles on the road today are 10 years old or more, which means they have a greater chance of breaking down.
The managing director of automotive engineering and repair at AAA said that while newer cars can have issues like flat tires or dead batteries, older vehicles are four times more likely to have problems that require a tow to a mechanic.
Keeping Older Cars Safe
Fortunately, there are steps drivers can take to avoid breakdowns and more serious car wrecks, regardless of the age of the car. AAA recommends that all drivers have their vehicle’s battery, engine, and tires checked at the beginning of the summer, particularly if a family vacation involves a long drive.
Keeping these systems in good working order can significantly reduce the risk of a serious breakdown.
- Battery issues: While a failing battery does not warn the driver when it is about to die, AAA offers members a mobile battery program, which provides free testing of a vehicle’s battery and electrical system.
- Engine issues: In cars 10 years and older, engine systems, including the radiator, thermostat, and timing belt, can fail without warning. If there is fluid leaking under the vehicle, it could indicate a problem with the engine.
- Tire damage: Worn tires, or tires that are over- or under-inflated, can cause serious accidents. Drivers should check tread depth and tire pressure before any long trips. Be sure to have a spare tire that is in good condition as well.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent All Car Accident Victims
If you have been injured in a car accident involving an older vehicle, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve, while ensuring that your rights are protected at all times. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.