Teen Drivers and Older Cars: A Deadly Combination

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on January 27, 2015 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 25, 2024

teenage driver with keysTeen drivers and older cars are a deadly mix. Not only are car crashes the leading cause of death among teens, but a study also found that half of teen crash deaths happened in older vehicles.

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), almost half of all teen drivers who died in crashes from 2008 to 2012 were operating vehicles that were six to eleven years old. IIHS analyzed data on auto fatalities that occurred between 2008 and 2012, focusing on two groups of drivers: those in the 15 to 17-year-old range and those 35 to 50. IIHS used vehicle identification numbers to determine the make, model, and model year of cars involved in those crashes.

Statistically, older cars arent as safe because they dont have many safety features, including side airbags. However, many parents choose them for teen drivers for affordability. No matter what your budget, parents should consider safety when choosing vehicles for their teenagers. Cars with better crash-test ratings are also associated with lower death rates.

Despite being three times more likely than adults to have an accident, studies have shown teens are less likely to wear seat belts. Officials say younger drivers also tend to have more accidents because they lack the experience needed to handle emergencies and hazards when they arise.

Vehicle size was also an issue, with 29 percent of fatally injured teenagers driving mini or small cars, according to the study.

Here are some key guidelines you should consider when choosing the best vehicle for your teen.

  • Stay away from high horsepower. Powerful engines can bring out the speed demon in young drivers, tempting them to test the limits.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) is a must. The feature helps the driver maintain control along slippery roads and curves, and reduces the risk on a level comparable to safety belts.
  • Make sure the vehicle has airbags. The devices protect individuals in accidents even when seatbelts are not worn.
  • Heavier, bigger vehicles are safer. Minicars and small cars are not recommended for young drivers because they pose a greater injury risk in the event of an accident.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in Wisconsin, it is important to hire an experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer to protect you and help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. At PKSD, our Milwaukee auto accident lawyers have many years of experience handling accident damages lawsuits, and we welcome the chance to review the details of your incident to help determine if you have a case.

Fill out our free case evaluation form or call PKSD Law at  414-333-3333 today.

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