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NHTSA Study Finds That New Cars Are Safer Than Ever

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Clients Who Have Been Injured in Collisions.

A recent study shows that newer cars are safer than past models. Car manufacturers used to make automobiles that were massive in size,  lasted a long time, and were easy to fix. However, making occupants safe goes further than creating tanks that are easy to maneuver and fix; it requires using technology that is innovative and practical.

Through better structural design, driver-assistance technology, and innovative safety measures, all of which help in the event of a car accident, auto manufacturers are making safer vehicles, albeit they are more difficult to operate.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that fatality rates among people driving older-model vehicles are higher than those who drive newer models. The NHTSA report shows that in 1997, the occupant fatality rate for registered passenger cars was 17.81 per 100,000. The comparison for that statistic was 2017, when the fatality rate for passenger vehicles was 10.05 per 100,000.

Most people consider cars a necessity. Although buying a new car can exceed your budget, safety is essential and features must be considered. Therefore, it is worth taking a look at why getting rid of an old vehicle for a newer model may one day save your life. The older the car, the more chance there is of having a fatality.

Do Older Model Cars Directly Contribute to Unsafe Driving?

Older model cars, besides lacking modern safety features, stand more of a chance of breaking down on the road. In other words, mechanical problems when driving are more frequent in older cars, and that is simply because they are older.

A tire blowout, brake failure, a faulty steering column, and engine problems could all cause a disaster while driving. Moreover, an older vehicle’s crashworthiness is lacking compared to that of newer models. Crashworthiness is the efficiency of a vehicle to handle impact in the event of an accident.

Older models may have been built like tanks, but the newer models are designed with better materials and technology that provide occupants more protection inside a vehicle. That technology includes effective airbags and crumple zones. The latter of the two enables the passengers to experience a lesser force upon impact.

What Safety Features Do Newer Model Cars Have That Make Them Safer?

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) enable drivers to avoid potential accidents that would otherwise be unavoidable. These systems are another set of eyes that can send a signal. They are virtually smart technology put into place to help you stay safe. ADAS use specific sensors, cameras, and computer software by operating a vehicle or alerting a driver when danger presents itself.

The first ADAS safety feature to mention is forward collision warning. This is used to monitor the speed of your car and the vehicle in front of you. It also keeps a tab on the distance between both cars. If you were to ride too close to the car ahead of you, the system would let you know that a crash is about to happen.

There is also a rear-collision warning system that works the same way as the forward collision warning system. The difference is that it pays attention to vehicles behind you that you do not see. This is similar to a backup camera that allows you to see when you are backing up, except that backup cameras do not alert you.

A blind-spot warning system sends a visual or audio alert when there is a vehicle in an adjacent lane that has slipped into your blind spot: you cannot see it. Blind spots are the cause of many accidents each year, but this feature will alert you that the vehicle is near you. Best of all, in the event that you do not react in time, the system will automatically brake or provide steering to avoid an accident.

A lane departure warning system monitors lane markers. They will alert you in the event that you start to drift out of your lane. It is important to note, however, that this system is only a warning; it does not function in the way a blind spot warning system does.

A lane-centering assistance system employs a camera-based device that monitors your lane position. It will use steering inputs to keep your car centered and help you avoid leaving your lane. It will automatically steer your car, and it will also accelerate or brake one or more of your car’s wheels.

Adaptive cruise control modifies your speed to maintain a safe and steady distance between you and the vehicle ahead. This could be crucial in the event that you become distracted. Remember that distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents.

A pedestrian automatic emergency braking system retrieves information from forward sensors. This will give you automatic braking when a pedestrian is detected and you have not done anything to prevent a collision.

Beyond ADAS, there are a few other features that save lives and prevent injuries. One of them is the airbag, which in 1999, became mandatory for all passenger cars. Most new cars today contain a minimum of six airbags. This includes SUVs.

Airbags have only improved since their conception. Airbags deploy when a sensor transmits a signal to the airbag’s igniter, which is found inside an inflater that is inside the airbag. The force causes a chemical reaction that produces gas; the gas then inflates the airbag. The bottom line is that airbags save lives.

Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) have sensors in each wheel that monitor and help you with traction, speed, steering, and more. ABS are used in coordination with some of the systems previously mentioned. They are a critical feature that helps keep you safe.

Other notable safety features include a tire pressure monitor (TPM), which warns you when you air pressure in a tire is low; the LATCH system, which is designed to secure a child’s car seat using straps or connectors more safely; and traction control, which helps keep you from sliding on slippery surfaces.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Clients Who Have Been Injured in Collisions

Cars are safer than ever, but that does not mean that all motorists operate their vehicles responsibly and safely. If you have been injured in a car accident, one of our experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can provide legal assistance. For a free consultation, call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, Newark, and Middletown.