The percentage of occupants fatally injured in a motor vehicle collision increased as the vehicle's age increased, according to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Specifically, just 27% of occupants riding in new vehicles that crashed — defined as 0-3 years old — were killed as compared to 37% riding in cars that were 8-11 years old, and a shocking 50% for those riding in vehicles 18 years or older.
In addition, the NHTSA report found that a higher proportion of the occupants of older model year vehicles — as compared to occupants of newer model year vehicles — suffered a fatal injury. Fatalities for model year 1984 and earlier vehicles were a whopping 55% but fatalities dropped to just 26% for 2013-2017 model year vehicles.
The study indicates that new model year vehicles are the safest on U.S. roadways. As vehicle safety improvements become more prevalent, NHTSA anticipates the trend will continue.
The study evaluated the most recent crash data from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2012 to 2016. The analysis includes all passenger vehicles — passenger cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans.
Read the report here.