*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
Seniors and teens are more likely to drive vehicles that lack important safety features, a new study finds.
That adds to risks on the road. Newly licensed drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group, while older drivers have the highest fatal crash rate, according to experts at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
They analyzed crash and licensing data for New Jersey from 2010 to 2017, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data on safety features of each vehicle involved in a crash.
Those features included front, side, and curtain airbags as well as electronic stability control (ESC). ESC helps a driver maintain control on slick and curvy roads and reduces the risk of dying in a crash by roughly the same amount as seat belts.
The study found that teens and adults 65 and older were more likely than middle-aged adults to drive older cars that lacked ESC or side and curtain airbags. It also found that drivers of all ages from lower-income neighborhoods were less likely to drive newer, safer cars.
The findings were published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.