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Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Detroit has a proud history of auto manufacturing, and Michiganders have excellent choices when it comes to buying a car. With new and emerging safety technologies, there are more options than ever for vehicle safety. By using the available data, savvy consumers can make the kinds of safe choices that can make the difference between life and death in a collision.

Here is what the research says about specific features:

Vehicle Age: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has examined the correlation between the age of the vehicle and the severity of injuries sustained in a collision. Not only were new vehicles found to offer the best chances of survival in a fatal car accident, but the odds of survival incrementally decreased with each model year. These same results were also found in Australia. Analyses of Australian auto accident fatality statistics and car crash tests both showed that older vehicles offered poorer chances of survival. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program—an independent vehicle safety advocate organization—noted that the over-representation of older vehicles in fatal accidents had been found in New Zealand as well.

Vehicle Size: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted another study examining the safety of different vehicle models. Of the ten vehicles with the highest fatality rates, five were mini cars and three were small cars. The category of vehicle with the lowest overall fatality rate was luxury sport utility vehicles with four-wheel drive. This study corroborates data that has been consistently reported in earlier studies: larger vehicles are safer than small vehicles.

New Safety Technologies: Safety technologies improve and expand every year. Lane assists and drift warning sensors, backup cameras, and electronic stability control are just a few of the newer safety options to choose from. There is not yet a large enough body of data to determine whether these technologies prevent accidents. In fact, Jalopnik reports on a study by the Highway Loss Data Institute which showed that vehicles with lane departure systems actually got into more accidents than their counterpart models without the technology. This could be an anomaly, or it could be a trend that shows a larger problem (such as drivers becoming too reliant upon the technology and failing to respond to dangers in the road). It will take years of data and trend comparisons for experts to determine which technologies—if any—truly prevent accidents.

Without solid statistical data to identify which features best prevent accidents, it is advisable for car buyers to identify their specific safety risks and find features that suit their needs. For example: drivers who frequently take long road trips may choose lane assist to prevent them from drifting during long periods of highway driving. Short drivers with larger blind spots may find that backup cameras are particularly important. The critical step is finding the features that best suit the individual driver.

Even having the biggest car with the best safety features doesn't necessarily mean you won't wind up in a car accident. The experienced attorneys at the Oliver Law Group have decades of experience in protecting the rights of car accident victims throughout Michigan. They ensure full and fair compensation for injuries sustained in an auto accident.


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