Spend a few extra dollars, and get your teenager a new car that comes with more safety features. That’s the message to take home from the results of a study that finds that teenage drivers driving older cars are much more likely to be in fatal accidents.
The results of the study which were published recently in the journal Injury Prevention, found that teenage drivers who were killed in accidents were 46% more likely to be in cars that were in the “mini” or ”small” category, compared to older drivers. These teenagers were also much more likely to be driving older cars.
Compared to older drivers, teenagers were 10% more likely to be driving a car that was between six and 10 years old, and 17% more likely to be driving a car that was between 11 and 15 years old.
Many older cars lack the kind of safety features that can help reduce the risk of injury in an accident. During an accident, the kind of forces that the occupants of a car suffer is heavily influenced by the weight and size of the car. Older cars also have seatbelt systems that may not work as strongly to protect in an accident, which also increases the teen’s risk of a fatal injury.
However, many parents continue to buy their children older or smaller cars. Their logic is that a used car may not pack a lot of horsepower, and therefore, may be safer for a teenager who is much more likely to speed. That could be a dangerous decision. It makes much more sense to spend a little more money, and buy a car that comes with key safety features, like electronic stability control systems. These devices are responsible for a significant reduction in the number of rollover accidents recorded across the country.