Kiwis are twice as likely to die in a car crash if the car they’re driving was built earlier than 2000, compared to those who drive in newer cars. Nearly 40% of cars on our roads are built prior to 2000, but these older vehicles are significantly over-represented in crashes that lead to death, with nearly 60% of fatalities involving these older cars.
Newer cars are far safer, with cars produced between 2010 and 2015 making up 20% of the nation’s cars but involved in only 10% of road related fatalities.
This is especially worrying when considering the fact that many families in New Zealand have multiple cars in their driveway, including cheap “starter” cars for teenagers to drive once they have their license.
Vehicle manufacturers today are leading the charge in terms of building safer cars that include crash prevention technology, frontal impact minimum safety standards, and life-saving airbags – but in order to reduce the road toll, older vehicles need to phase off the road.
Knowing that older cars are less safe makes it clear that drivers should consider newer cars for vehicle safety. It’s easy to find cars made in the last two decades that are significantly safer than their predecessors and under $10,000 too.