There’s more to a new car than just that new car smell, especially when it comes to safety.
Driving an older vehicle comes with a number of safety concerns that can increase the chances of having an incident while on the road.
Here are just a few points to keep in mind when driving an older vehicle:
Lack of Updated Safety Equipment
Vehicle safety has changed drastically in the last decade.
Safety improvements are taking place each and every day, which is great news for new car drivers.
However, what about drivers who get behind the wheel of older cars?
Although vehicles manufactured in last 20+ years feature basic safety equipment such as ABS brakes and airbags, the equipment itself changes all the time.
Newer anti-lock brake systems are more responsive than they were years ago. Likewise, most new cars feature side curtain airbags as opposed to just front airbags.
Drivers behind the wheel of older vehicles don’t benefit from this updated safety equipment, which can pose major safety concerns.
Vehicle Wear and Tear
The general wear and tear cars, trucks, and SUVs experience can eventually weaken any vehicle’s drive train, running gear, and other mechanical components.
With that said, the average US vehicle is now 11.5 years old, which is plenty of time for wear and tear to have a negative effect on most vehicles on the road.
From worn out brake pads to unresponsive steering and dim headlights, wear and tear can make vehicles much more dangerous to drive.
Although 11.5 years doesn’t sound like a lot of time, vehicles can take a serious beating during this time and their safety can become compromised as a result.
General maintenance issues begin to increase as a vehicle gets older.
Whether it’s a problematic engine or power steering that’s underperforming, even the smallest maintenance issue can cause serious problems while on the road.
Drivers with older vehicles need to perform more maintenance on their vehicles than drivers with new cars.
However, as schedules get busier and budgets get tighter, general vehicle maintenance is oftentimes overlooked. These maintenance issues can result in major safety issues as time goes on.
Insufficient Safety Technology
Much like the safety equipment mentioned above, older cars also miss out on the latest safety technology. Government mandates are released each year that require new cars to meet certain safety standards, but older vehicles are frequently exempt from these requirements.
For example, most car manufacturers are now required to include traction control, blind spot sensors, and reverse cameras in all new vehicles.
Older cars simply don’t benefit from this new safety technology.
The majority of new vehicles only come with 3 to 5 year warranties.
Additionally, dealerships usually only offer their maintenance plans for the first 2 years. This means warranties for many older cars have come and gone.
Without warranties, minor and major maintenance issues usually go unnoticed. This is never a good thing in terms of the safety of a vehicle.
When it comes to safe driving, the age of a vehicle can make all the difference in the world.