Old cars are less safe

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Ward's Auto Not really surprising I know, but numerically measuring is always better than guessing.
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The Australasian New Car Assessment Program says its latest analysis of car-to-car crash tests shows older vehicles are over-represented in fatal accidents. The analysis of the regional fleet shows that while older models built before 2000 account for just 20% of the registered vehicle fleet, they are involved in 33% of fatal crashes. In contrast, newer vehicles built from 2011-2016 make up 31% of the fleet but are involved in only 13% of fatal crashes. The crash test involved a ʼ98 Toyota Corolla and a ʼ15 Toyota Corolla. The frontal-offset test, which replicates a head-on crash, was conducted at 40 mph (64 km/h). ANCAP CEO James Goodwin says the older car sustained catastrophic structural failure with dummy readings showing an extremely high risk of serious head, chest and leg injury to the driver. It achieved a score of just 0.4 out of 16 points, earning no points. “In contrast, the current model performed very well with a 5-star level of protection offered, scoring 12.93 out of 16 points, Goodwin says. “The outcomes of this test are stark and the automotive, finance and insurance industries can play a part to assist in encouraging people into newer, safer cars.” Goodwin says ANCAP has been tracking the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash, and in just one year that average increased from 12.5 years to 12.9 years. “This highlights the need for a renewed national focus and greater support for safer vehicles,” he says. The over-representation of older vehicles in fatal crashes is similar in New Zealand, where the average age of the vehicle fleet is 14.3 years and the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash is 15.6 years. “It is unfortunate we tend to see our most at-risk drivers – the young and inexperienced, as well as the elderly and more frail – in the most at-risk vehicles,” Goodwin says. “We hope this test promotes a conversation to encourage all motorists to consider the safety of their car.”
 
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No surprise at all. Despite the angst of a few diehards, vehicles continue to get safer and better made with superior materials. I think you'd find similar results comparing any two similar sized vehicles with a near 20 year age difference.
 

Astro14

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While newer cars have the improved safety features, the ANCAP CEO James Goodwin hints at what is probably the more salient point: The older cars are being operated by the most at-risk drivers: teens and the elderly. Teen drivers crash at a much higher rate, so I would like to see the crash data normalized for driver risk. Right now, you can't extract the change in operator risk with older cars from the safety system improvements.
 
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Originally Posted By: Astro14
While newer cars have the improved safety features, the ANCAP CEO James Goodwin hints at what is probably the more salient point: The older cars are being operated by the most at-risk drivers: teens and the elderly. Teen drivers crash at a much higher rate, so I would like to see the crash data normalized for driver risk. Right now, you can't extract the change in operator risk with older cars from the safety system improvements.
Check. Similar problem with the Australian data showing a strong negative correlation between tread depth and hitting utility poles. Since low tread-depth is associated with younger, poorer and more accident-prone drivers, its tricky to isolate it as a risk factor.
 
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Originally Posted By: Astro14
While newer cars have the improved safety features, the ANCAP CEO James Goodwin hints at what is probably the more salient point: The older cars are being operated by the most at-risk drivers: teens and the elderly. Teen drivers crash at a much higher rate, so I would like to see the crash data normalized for driver risk. Right now, you can't extract the change in operator risk with older cars from the safety system improvements.
I guess if they could, they would've, but I imagine you could get a driver risk factor out of the data by comparing all age groups of drivers in the newest(assumed best condition) cars. Actually they could do that for all age groups of cars I suppose. Then you get an idea how much the driver types influence crash stats. Seems like they'd have plenty of sample size to do this, so maybe there's other reasons they don't do this?
 
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Any statistician can disaggregate the data to compare young people with new cars to young people with old cars, and compare elderly people with new cars and elderly people with new cars, and compare poor people with new cars and poor people with old cars, etc. The data is easy to find I am sure. I suspect there would be a real difference no matter how you cut it. Just look at the video. The 1998 car safety sucks by comparison to the 2015 car.
 
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“This highlights the need for a renewed national focus and greater support for safer vehicles,” he says. The problem is that safety technology can't keep up with stupid absentminded people. Autonomous vehicles is where they should focus, then maybe some of the safety equipment can be left out of cars to offset the cost.
 
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The Chevy 55 or 56 maybe both had a steering column that ended like a spear in front of the driver. Even as a kid I remember thinking that looks dangerous. Metal dashboards with perfectly placed knobs for injury were the norm. All the locomotive metal on the outside and smashed up people on the inside.
 
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I think cars got safer in late 90s, early 2000. At least European, I'm unfamiliar with others. VW made great leap forward with mk 4 Golf, Ford with Mk 2 Focus and Mondeo. BMW with its e46, FIAT with Stilo. All those have much stronger structure, compared with just one generation earlier. In that video with Corollas, if they have used only one generation younger (Auris mk1) difference wouldn't be so big IMO. https://youtu.be/x16nZKYUvqY
 
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Originally Posted By: goodtimes
The Chevy 55 or 56 maybe both had a steering column that ended like a spear in front of the driver. Even as a kid I remember thinking that looks dangerous. Metal dashboards with perfectly placed knobs for injury were the norm. All the locomotive metal on the outside and smashed up people on the inside.
That was typical of all the vehicles back then. No seat belts, lots of metal as you mentioned. The steering wheel may have been a metal ring with Bakelite or whatever the material was to cover it. The technology was not there yet. Now I see where the fear level in younger drivers is non existent as they feel the safety equipment will save them. So they drive at super fast speeds in the freeway whereas in the old days racers went to the local "straight" to race their cars and usually at night as well.
 
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Originally Posted By: andyd
And the older the car, the greater the difference. I'm surprised I survived my child hood grin2
My son's first car was a 1975 2002; I made certain it was in excellent condition and replaced the three point belts and their inertia reel retractors. More importantly, I sent him to the two day Teen School at the BMW Performance Center as well as a Street Survival one day session. That way he gained experience in a few new cars as well as his own 2002. My wife was 100% on board with my decision- bless her heart; I know one poor soul who owns a 2002 and his nutcase of a wife won't let their 10 and 12 year old kids even ride in it because it's "unsafe." I told him that in the long run he'd be happier replacing his wife rather than the '02.
 
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...and in other news, water is wet. Seriously, weren't drivers airbags standard by 1998 for North America? Surely this would affect the crash test. Just another ploy to get the public to purchase newer cars for the young and old. Driving up national debt to astronomical levels. Coffee
 
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Originally Posted By: wemay
Incredible difference.
Must have been the last year for that body style corolla. And did they save a brand new one or just dig up an old one with stress fatigue, corrosion, etc? New corolla is likely heavier. If I hit a new prius with my 95 F150 the prius would be the one all stove up.
 
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I drive an 84 Civic wagon and if I get into an accident the fire department will have to use a putty knife and a shop vac to get me out. My car weighs 2010 pounds (I weighed it at a truck scale) and if I get into a collision with a modern daily driver it will be like hitting a brick wall to say nothing of getting hit by a pickup truck. The only safety devices in my car are a seat belt/shoulder harness and my driving. That will not be much in a serious accident. In fact "safety" is the only reasonable argument for replacing this car.
 
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If nothing else, the cars handle far better now than back in the day and can stop much better. Of course, people now drive much faster as a result probably negating that large advantage a bit.
 
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