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Buying a Used Car for Christmas? Study Finds Older Vehicles Less Safe

car accident attorneys lexington ky

If you are planning to buy a used vehicle for your teen driver this year, you may want to think again. While teens are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident regardless of what type of vehicle they drive, studies show that older cars have more risks than cars with the latest safety technology. Before putting a ribbon on a car for your teen driver this year, here are some things to consider:

Think About Safety Ratings and Crash Protection

According to research released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and covered by an article in The New York Times, a large number of teens drive older vehicles that have fewer safety features and offer poor crash protection. Some of the most interesting facts highlighted by the study include that nearly a third of teens who were involved in fatal crashes were driving smaller vehicles, compared with 20 percent of drivers ages 35 to 50.

Furthermore, a startling 82 percent of teens involved in fatal crashes were driving vehicles that were at least six years old, if not older.

The study suggested that small cars and mini-cars are the most popular type of vehicle for parents to buy for their teens, although they offer less protection in crashes. More than a quarter of the parents involved in the study purchased a vehicle in one of these category types. You can learn more about the factors behind traffic fatalities on road in the U.S. through data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Purchasing a Car With Key Safety Features

If you want to reduce your teen’s chances of being in an accident, or suffering serious injuries in the event that an accident occurs, buying a newer model car that is up-to-date with the latest safety features may help. Important safety features that older cars may lack include:

  • Power steering;
  • Antilock braking systems;
  • Traction control;
  • Brake assist;
  • Blind-spot warnings;
  • Tire pressure monitors; and
  • Backup cameras.

Unfortunately, many older model cars do not have many if any of the safety features listed above. Older cars may have poorer crash test ratings as well. In addition to purchasing a car with better safety technology, choosing one with good crash testing ratings should be a priority too.

Find and Compare Crash Test Ratings

When you are choosing a vehicle for your child, you want one that has been proven to fare well in accidents. You can compare crash test ratings at Safercar.gov and on the website of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Protecting Your Teen Driver

Small cars and used cars tend to perform worse in crashes than do larger vehicles and those with more advanced crash avoidance technology. When choosing a car for your teen driver in Kentucky this year, these facts should be heavily weighed.

In the event that your teen is involved in an accident, the Lexington car accident attorneys at the Frank Jenkins Law Office can guide you through everything your family needs to know about filing a claim and recovering financial compensation. For a free case consultation, contact us online or call us today.