In Dec. 2019, the average price of a brand-new vehicle was nearly $39,000. This figure is greater than many peoples’ incomes, and if it is close to yours, you may be putting off replacing your vehicle. You are not alone, since the average vehicle on the road in the United States is 11.8 years old. Yet, by driving a vehicle that is more than 10 years old, you could be at a greater risk for harm in an auto accident.
Why newer vehicles are safer
One major reason that newer vehicles are safer than older vehicles is that they come with more standard safety equipment. Most newer vehicles have crash avoidance technologies – like blind spot detection and backup cameras – that can make you aware of hazards and help you prevent an accident. Furthermore, all vehicles from model year 2012 onward come with standard electronic stability control. This system uses automatic braking to help you maintain control of your vehicle if you start losing it. And many newer vehicles also have side curtain airbags, which offer extra cushion in a T-bone crashes and rollovers.
Newer vehicles also have better structural reinforcements than older vehicles. For one, they are made of stronger steel. And unlike most older vehicles, newer vehicles have crumple zones, which absorb the shock after an accident. Without these zones, you – as a driver or passenger – would absorb it instead.
Making sure your vehicle is safe
The cost of a brand-new vehicle can be prohibitive, yet you may fear that your current vehicle could put your safety at risk. Even if it is reliable, it may lack the features, technologies and reinforcements that will protect you in an accident. If you cannot afford a brand-new vehicle, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer used vehicle. Vehicles that are several years old are nearly as safe as their brand-new counterparts and – in most cases – cost substantially less.
If you sustained injuries in an accident with your older vehicle, you will want to seek treatment immediately. You may also want to pursue compensation, which can help you cover any expenses or losses that could otherwise come out-of-pocket.