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Why the Maintenance on Your Older Vehicle Matters

car accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the older a car is, the more likely it is that a driver will die in a crash. But why is that the case? There are several reasons but the majority of data points to the makeup of older cars vs. the material and engineering of newer vehicles.

Improvements in Safety and Differences in Engineering Between Older and Newer Vehicles

The regulations of today are far more stringent compared to those of even a decade ago. The U.S. federal regulations or Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) has a set of performance, construction, and durability requirements that automakers must adhere to. Many of these regulations weren’t around decades ago. The seatbelt is one example. It was in 1968 that the FMVSS made it mandatory that all vehicles have seatbelts. But it extends far beyond seatbelts. For example, the FMVSS #203 requires impact protection for the driver of the vehicle. This requirement is for all vehicles made on or after September 1st of 1981.

Throughout the years, the FMVSS has introduced new requirements as it continues to study the impact of vehicles on drivers in different types of collisions. Based on some of the data it’s gathered, there are stark differences between vehicles made in the year 2000 compared to a 2008 model. These include:

  • There’s a 30 percent decrease in the likelihood of crashing every 100,000 miles if you’re driving a 2008 car.
  • If you’re involved in a crash, you are 82 percent more likely to escape without injuries if you’re in a 2008 model car.
  • Improvements made in 2008 saved around 2,000 lives in that year alone.
  • Improvements made on 2008 model vehicles prevented around 700,000 vehicles from crashing.  

Steps to Take If Your Vehicle is a 2000 Model or Older

When buying an older vehicle, it’s important to make sure that the vehicle is in driving condition before taking it out for a spin. This involves having it inspected by a professional mechanic and making the needed repairs. Many times there are small but necessary improvements that older vehicles can benefit from, making them much more safe to drive. These include:

  • Always change the oil every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.
  • Have your car’s braking system, tires, and steering system inspected.
  • Make sure the engine is healthy. Have a mechanic inspect its fuel lines, radiator hoses, joints and fan, and other components that could otherwise leave you stranded on the side of the road if they fail.   

For Reliable Auto Collision Repair in El Paso, Contact Pronto Body Shop

At Pronto Body Shop we’re not age-biased! We welcome cars of all ages and to be quite honest, enjoy the pleasure of servicing a classic beauty. To ensure the safety of your vehicle, be sure to have it inspected every six months or as soon as you notice any unusual changes. Older models certainly require more TLC but it’s only to make sure they are as safe as possible! If you have any questions regarding your vehicle, please give us a call!  

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