A recent study revealed that teen drivers and drivers 65 years of age and older are likelier than middle-aged adults to own an older-model vehicle. What Wisconsin residents should know is that these two age groups run the highest risk for a car crash and that driving an older vehicle only compounds this risk.

The dangers of older vehicles

In particular, older vehicles lack two safety features that the study focused on, electronic stability control (ESC) and curtain and side airbags. The latter has been determined to be about as effective as seat belts at preventing fatalities during an accident because it keeps vehicles under control on wet or icy roads or sharp curves.

Income levels contribute to the trend

For their study, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers analyzed all the crashes that occurred in neighboring New Jersey between the years 2010 and 2017. By checking the VIN of every vehicle involved in each accident, they found out which vehicles had side airbags and ESC and which ones did not.

The researchers discovered that teen drivers in high-income areas were 53% more likely to own a vehicle with side airbags than those in lower-income neighborhoods. When comparing older drivers in high-income neighborhoods to lower-income ones, the percentage was 35% higher. The vehicles of lower-income teens were almost twice the age of the vehicles that higher-income teens own.

For those injured in an auto accident

When negligence is behind motor vehicle accidents, as it usually is, then those who incurred losses through no fault of their own may seek compensation. What sort of vehicle you drove does not matter in the sense that driving an older car does not make you negligent, but other matters can complicate the filing and negotiating processes. You may wish to enlist legal help to make things proceed more smoothly.