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Teen Drivers Have Higher Risk of Dying in Older Cars

teen driverDid you know that any vehicle which is more than 6 years old is the worst vehicle for a teenager to drive?

According to a recent study by the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System, about half of all crash-related teenage fatalities happened while the teenagers were in a vehicle manufactured 6 or more years ago. A staggering 82 percent of teenage drivers were fatally injured while behind the wheel of a vehicle that was between 6 and 10 years old,  while 31 percent of fatally injured teens were in vehicles eleven years or older. 

Outdated safety features on older vehicles, such as older seat belts and air bags that don’t work properly, may be partially to blame for these injuries and fatalities. In addition, older cars are often not equipped with the latest safety technology features. 

But the startling statistics don’t stop with older vehicles. The study also found that teenage fatalities occurred more often while teens were driving smaller cars weighing less than 3,000 pounds. Small cars resulted in 30 percent of teenage fatalities, versus only 20 percent of adult fatalities.      

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) advises parents to get the safest vehicle they can afford for their teenage drivers. To help keep teenagers safe while driving, IIHS suggest parents consider purchasing a vehicle that comes equipped with front, side, and curtain air bags. Oftentimes, side and curtain air bags are not available in older model cars, as these safety features were not widely available until 2009 or 2010.

 Additionally, IIHS recommends that parents look for a vehicle equipped with Electronic Stability Control. This important safety feature helps stabilize a vehicle by automatically applying the brakes if it detects the vehicle is sliding out of control. As of 2012, Electronic Stability Control is a mandatory feature in all car models. 

When it comes to driving an SUV, Electronic Stability Control is especially effective in minimizing rollovers. However, IIHS and Consumer Reports suggests the safest vehicles for teenage drivers are larger sedans rather than SUVs. 

If you or a loved one has been in an automobile accident, the expert car accident lawyers at Schmidt Kramer are committed to getting you the justice you deserve. 

For a free case review, call (717) 888-8888  or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.