The effect of vehicle age on the severity of injuries incurred by drivers

Analyses of the accident database (UDB) of the UDV (German Insurers Accident Research) indicated that drivers of older vehicles suffer severe injuries more often than drivers of modern cars.

For the purposes of the study, a car was defined as old or new cars depending on whether it was manufactured before or after the year 1997, the year Euro NCAP was set up. Vehicles manufactured and developed after 1997 offered significantly more safety for the test scenarios used.

The UDB analyses show that older cars get significantly more deformed than modern cars in similar accidents. Furthermore, it is clear that this greater level of damage to the front of the vehicle leads to the drivers suffering more serious injuries. All frontal collisions between cars with drivers wearing seatbelts were analyzed. In addition, it was found that young drivers tend to have accidents in older, lighter vehicles than other drivers.

The crash tests carried out by the UDV indicated a clear difference in safety between „new“ and „old“ vehicles: In the same test configuration (60 km/h, ODB with an overlap of 40 Prozent), the passenger compartment of the 1997 vehicle model collapsed, which resulted in its dummy being subjected to significantly higher stresses than the dummy in the 2004 vehicle model. This can result in very serious or fatal injuries.