There’s a new survey out which shows Americans are driving ever older cars and trucks. According to the experts, this aging of the fleet began with the recession back in 2008. Up to this point, credit had been easy so most people could afford to trade in their cars for something newer on a regular basis. This made the roads quite safe as the more dangerous older cars were taken out of circulation. But today, credit is still quite difficult at the lower end of the market and the average age of car and trucks on the road has now risen to 11.4 years.
It’s a sad reflection on our safety culture that people are now relying on maintenance and repair to keep older vehicles on the roads. It’s not so bad with the most modern makes and models because the engineering design keeps them safer for longer. But mechanical failure is increasingly common in older vehicles and accidents result. Indeed, the latest statistics show the first rise in fatalities in crashes for the last five years. It seems society is prepared to see more people killed as the price of continuing to drive very old cars and trucks on the road.