ASU Researcher: Car Safety Ratings Don't Consider Older Drivers

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 10:08am
Updated: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 10:43am
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If you’re over the age of 50, the kind of car you drive could mean the difference between life and death, at least according to an automotive researcher from Arizona State University.

Norma Hubele has been studying car crash statistics for over 30 years, so she gets a lot questions, like, "What kind of car should I buy?"

The professor emeritus says safety ratings don’t paint a complete picture.

"And I realized that not only were young people but older people were being put at risk by this system of crashing vehicles in laboratories with plastic dummies that really represented an idealized man or a idealized small woman," Hubele said.

Hubele says she’s using federal crash data that has information about how men and women survive the worst crashes.

"I came to the realization that I could provide consumers with a simple to use safety system that they could pick their best cars," she said.

Her system is called the Auto Professor. Hubele says current safety rating systems don’t take into account how we age and how a crash could impact an individual in their 50s, 60s or even older.

Hubele says as we age, our bodies might be more susceptible to injury than if we were in our 20s. She also says older adults tend to keep their vehicles longer and they may not have the latest safety features.

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