Regardless of what vehicle you drive, there’s one feature every automobile owner absolutely wants: safety.
Although a small minority of drivers get into car accidents, we all know the consequences can be dire. Even perfect drivers can still find themselves in severe accidents. This is where our vehicle’s safety kicks in. Nobody wants to get into an accident, but at least a reliable car can protect us from harm in the worst case scenario.
This leads us to the burning question: how safe is the vehicle you’re currently driving anyway? Because if it’s older than 5 or 10 years old, it might not be as safe as it could be.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles built after 2013 have the lowest percentage of fatal car accidents. In fact, drivers in modern vehicles were shown to be in half the number of fatal car accidents compared to cars built prior to 1984. Even vehicles built between 2003 and 2012 had a 5 to 10 percent increase of fatal car accidents compared to newer vehicles.
You might be thinking to yourself that a 5% reduction in fatal car accidents isn’t a huge number. However, there’s a sobering statistic to keep in mind here: according to the CDC, approximately 33,700 people die from car accidents every year. Even 5% of that figure is still 1,685 people. To put that number into perspective, that’s about the number of students in three average size high schools in the United States. Put another way, that’s over three times the number of people who have ever died from shark attacks.
Sure, it’s hard to say that we would save roughly 2000 lives or more per year if everyone drove modern vehicles. However, that figure might not be too far off the mark. The average vehicle on the road today is over 11 years old, thanks in part to automobiles lasting longer than ever. And remember, that’s just an average, which means there’s a 20 year old vehicle on the road for every 1 year old vehicle. Though it’s great people are holding onto their vehicles for so long, you run the risk of missing out on important safety features the longer you hold off on upgrading.
It’s worth noting that modern vehicles don’t just do better in accidents, but they’re better at preventing them as well. Features like blind spot detection, rear view cameras, and hands free wireless calling are all common in today’s automobiles. Since over 25% of fatal car accidents stem from distracted driving, any feature that keeps your eyes on the road is more valuable than you may realize. And if you have a young or new driver in your household, the value of these features rises exponentially.
So overall, modern vehicles are absolutely safer than ever. Even if cars from five to ten years ago are still generally safe, there’s still a lot of value in upgrading to a newer vehicle. Remember: no matter what the statistics say, the only numbers that matter are the lives you want to protect. Make sure your car is giving you the best defense possible.