Newer Cars Are Safer Than Older Ones, Says The NHTSA

Newer cars are safer than older ones. That’s not just our opinion, but that of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which issued the findings in a new report.

“The analysis shows that among all passenger vehicle,” reports the NHTSA, “the proportion [of fatal crashes] was higher among occupants of older vehicles as compared to the occupants of newer vehicles.”

In other words, you’re less likely to die in a newer vehicle than an older one. That includes passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and vans. “We encourage car buyers to select vehicles that meet their individual lifestyle, budget and transportation needs,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King, “with the added assurance that they are making an investment in safety.”

Over Twice As Many Fatalities In Vehicles Made Before 1985

A division of the US federal Department of Transportation, the NHTSA defines “older” vehicles as those built before 2012, and “newer” ones as those built since. It categorizes model years from 2013–2017, 2008–2012, 2003–2007, 1998–2002, 1993–1997, 1985–1992, and 1984 and earlier.

The data is most glaring, of course, when comparing relatively new vehicles to much older ones. 55 percent of fatal crashes (in which an occupant died within 30 days of the crash) took place in vehicles made before 1985. By contrast, only 26 percent took place in vehicles built between 2013 and 2017. And while the study categorized fatalities within defined age groups, the data holds true regardless of the age of the occupants involved.

In conclusion, the NHTSA determines “that a higher proportion of the occupants of older MY vehicles suffered a fatal injury. In addition, the proportion of vehicle occupants who were fatally injured increases with the age of the vehicle.” So if you’ve been thinking about trading in your old car or truck for a newer one, and safety is a concern (as it should be), this may be the evidence you need to take the plunge.

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  • roy

    And on other news….. Plants provide us with oxygen while others just give out carbon dioxide

    • Bo Hanan

      Thaaaaaaank you! The NHTSA is clearly hard at work earning our tax payer money.

  • Stephen G

    Good to know. Now in my new safer car I can text while I drive and not have to worry!

  • erly5

    No sh*t Sherlock! Seriously, this is not news.

  • LJ

    I love when older generations argue that everything from their time was better. This info will come in handy at my in-laws.

    • LeStori

      Better does not imply safer. I had more fun in my 1963 Mini 850 than in most modern cars I have driven. I might have only done 72 mph flat out but it was exciting to drive even at 60 mph. A fun to drive death trap. When I replaced the engine with one out of a Mini cooper S, the 1275cc engine made it a 100 mph death trap. The fun was even greater.

  • Christian

    no shit, sherlock

  • iea96

    Striking news! Who would’ve thought?!

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