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Older cars riskier for drivers than newer models

Florida motorists may be concerned to learn that they have a greater chance of dying in a car accident if they drive an older vehicle, according to a 2013 study. Further, the study found that the older the vehicle is, the more likely its driver is to be killed in an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that people who drive vehicles that are at least 18 years old are 71 percent more likely to be killed in a serious car accident than people who drive vehicles that are no more than three years old. People who drive cars that are 8 to 11 years old are 19 percent more likely to die in a crash, and those who drive cars 4 to 7 years old are 10 percent more likely to die.

The study also confirmed the importance of seat belt use. For instance, belted drivers involved in serious car accidents had a 46 percent chance of dying in a 19-year-old vehicle, compared to a 26 percent chance of dying in a new car. Meanwhile, unbelted drivers had a 78 percent chance of being killed in an older car and a 72 percent chance of dying in a new car. This means that drivers can erase most of the safety benefits of new cars by failing to wear their seat belt.

People who are injured in a car crash caused by another driver have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. Typical damages sought in such suits often include medical bills, lost wages, property loss and pain and suffering. Injured victims could learn more about their options by speaking to a lawyer.

Source: Consumer Reports, "Government study measures the risk of crash for clunkers", Sept. 27, 2013

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