Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bogus "Study" from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Barely worth commenting on because of FLAWED LOGIC and STATISTICS as other commenters noted below.....

This highlights the need to consider who paid for the "STUDY" and their goal.

Don't believe everything you read!

Teen Drivers & Older Cars: A Deadly Mix

We're still in the middle of holiday season, but parent of teenagers are already thinking ahead to spring -- specifically, to graduation and their kids' inevitable request for a car.

If you're in that number, take note: the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published a new report that may make you think twice about the vehicle you buy for your teen.

IIHS analyzed data on auto fatalities that occurred between 2008 and 2012, focusing on two groups of drivers: those in the 15-17-year-old range, and those 35-50. IIHS used vehicle identification numbers to determine the make, model, and model year of cars involved in those crashes.

What IIHS found was eye-opening, to say the least. Here are a few major takeaways:

  • Of the roughly 2,500 teenagers who died during the span studied, 82 percent were driving cars that were over six years old. In fact, 48 percent of teens killed were driving cars that were more than 11 years old.
  • A majority of teen fatalities took place in smaller vehicles: 29 percent occurred in mini or small cars, while 23 percent took place in a mid-size car. Only 10 percent occurred in large pickups, and just nine percent took place in a mid-size SUV.
  • Of the 19,000 middle-aged drivers who died during the period studied, 77 percent were in cars more than six years old, and 46 percent took place in cars that were over 11 years old.
  • The vehicles in which those drivers rode, however, were a very mixed bag. For example, 20 percent were mini or small cars, 17 percent were large pickups, 16 percent were mid-size sedans, and 11 percent were mid-size SUVs.

In other words, it appears that the common factor in fatal crashes from 2008-2012 wasn't so much the type of vehicle involved (though it seems pretty clear that larger vehicles proved safer), but the age of those vehicles. Accordingly, IIHS has a couple of tips for parents when buying a car for their teen, namely:
  • Make sure that the vehicle has electronic stability control, or ESC. U.S. vehicles from the 2012 model-year and later are required to have ESC, but the feature was gradually phased in through model-years 2009, 2010, and 2011. In other words, if a car was built before September 1, 2011, it may not have ESC.
  • Make sure that the vehicle has airbags. Even when teens chafe at the idea of wearing seatbelts, airbags can protect them in accidents.
To simplify the process of choosing the right car, IIHS has posted a list of the "best" vehicles for teens priced below $20,000, as well as some "good" vehicles for teens priced below $10,000. All come standard with ESC, and they've all scored well on IIHS crash tests. Have a look and share your thoughts in the comments below.

DrMichael Merenstein
My take. The average age of a car on the road is between 10 and 11 yrs old. A weighted statistical analysis has a higher percentage of people driving older rather than newer cars. Therefore, it's highly likely that an overwhelming amount of accidents (and death) will occur with people driving older cars. The study doesn't analyze directly people driving new cars versus old car deaths. It takes numbers of deaths and backwards analyzes hey they were driving old cars. But as I said already, the overwhelming amount of people are driving old cars. So, who is paying for and pushing this study. And police are in the Black neighborhoods as a result of the high crime rates. And Gucci has a store on Rodeo drive where the rich people are. Get it.

Steve DrMichael Merenstein
Agreed, this is statistically flawed. IIHS is funded by auto insurers. Convincing you to by a new car equal higher premiums and, in turn, higher profits for insurance companies.

This doesn't show the proportion of people driving older cars and what type of cars they were, so it really is not useful information. The car with the highest percentage might just be the highest because that's what most people are driving. Flawed.