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The age of a vehicle and the likelihood of fatal crashes

Vehicle owners in Kentucky should know that a research paper published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that a vehicle's age affects the likelihood that its driver will perish in an accident. People who drive vehicles that are at least 18 years old have a 71 percent greater chance of dying in a crash than drivers of vehicles that are no more than three years old.

The results of the study, which focused only on fatal crashes, show that the risk of fatality dropped the newer the vehicle was. For example, drivers of vehicles that are 8 to 11 years old have just a 19 percent greater likelihood of perishing in a crash than drivers in vehicles that are new to 3 years old. Drivers of vehicles that are four to seven years old have an even lower likelihood at 10 percent.

For the study, there were adjustments for the effects of multiple variables, including blood alcohol content, speeding, the age of the driver, road type, time of day and more. The use of safety belts was one variable that had positive effects on the chances of crash survival. It increased the likelihood of survival no matter the age of the car, but especially if the car was newer.

Not being restrained by a seatbelt negates the advantage of operating a newer vehicle. According to the study, the chances that a restrained driver would perish fell from 46 percent for those driving 19-year-old vehicles to 26 percent for those in newer vehicles. For unrestrained drivers, the percentage dropped only to 72 percent from 78 percent.

A personal injury attorney may work to protect the rights of clients injured in vehicle accidents. The attorney may pursue financial damages against negligent drivers or vehicle manufacturers for medical expenses and lost wages.

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