New research from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has revealed the stark disparity in safety of vehicles over the past 30 years when it comes to protecting the occupants of a vehicle when involved in a crash.
The report used data from the company's fatality analysis reporting system to study the relationship between a vehicle's age and model year to its occupant's injury severity in a fatal crash.
The report revealed the percentage of people suffering fatal injuries in those accidents increased with the age of the vehicle.
The data below reveals just how far safety technology in vehicles has come over the past three decades:
- 55% of occupants in vehicles built before 1984 suffered fatal injuries
- 53% of occupants in vehicles built between 1985 and 1992 suffered fatal injuries
- 46% of occupants in vehicles built between 1993 and 1997 suffered fatal injuries
- 42% of occupants in vehicles built between 1998 and 2002 suffered fatal injuries
- 36% of occupants in vehicles built between 2003 and 2007 suffered fatal injuries
- 31% of occupants in vehicles built between 2008 and 2012 suffered fatal injuries
- 26% of occupants in vehicles built between 2013 and 2017 suffered fatal injuries
While it may seem common knowledge that older vehicles are less safe than newer vehicles, seeing the data from the NHTSA highlights the level of difference new safety technology can have in a crash.
“The analysis shows that among all passenger vehicle occupants involved in a fatal crash, the proportion who were fatally injured increases with vehicle age.
“Figures show that the percentage of occupants fatally injured increased as the vehicle age increased: from 27% for 0-3 year age to group to 50% for the 18% age group.”