Newer vehicles typically feature both more and more effective safety features than older automobiles. Innovations such as airbags, seatbelt tensioners and crumple zones have become commonplace since their introduction, and they improve the safety of newer vehicles considerably, as have advances in stability control and anti-lock brake systems.
Many safety features in newer cars have only been standard equipment relatively recently, as reported by consumer advocacy website Consumer Reports. For example, front airbags have only been included as standard in passenger cars since 1998 and electronic stability control systems since 2012. While older cars often have some of these features, newer vehicles often have more advanced versions of these systems that are more effective, such as the side-curtain airbag systems included alongside front airbags in many modern cars.
The more numerous and improved safety features of newer automobiles have been shown to lead to better survival rates in auto crashes in a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers of cars older than 18 years are 71 percent more likely to die in an auto crash compared to those driving newer cars, while those driving cars between 8 and 11 years of age are only 21 percent more likely to die in a crash.