A classic car is an older automobile, usually 20 years or older. Generally, these cars are kept because they have a significant historical interest or for restoring, but have you ever asked yourself; are classic cars safe? Many other questions come along with that one. For example: how does a classic car compare to a modern one in an event of an accident or are the safety features on modern vehicles truly better than those on classic ones? Typically, the further back you go in time, the less safe a vehicle is. Safety regulations have become a lot more demanding throughout the years, thanks to the government. Taking this into consideration, car manufacturers have the responsibility to conform to new safety regulations every few years or so.

Physical Safety

Modern cars are greatly safer than classic cars. Many classic car enthusiasts will tell you differently and believe that modern cars are nothing to compared to the good old classics, but that is not the case. There are many physical additions to the car that greatly improve your safety when driving. Modern cars have crumple zones built into the frame, meaning if you are in a collision, you will be much more protected than in a classic vehicle.

Modern vehicles also come equipped with Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) which notably reduces stopping distances while maintaining a certain level of steering control. Also, an important thing to mention is the three-point seatbelt. While modern cars are required to have a seatbelt with three mounting positions, vehicles from the 60s or earlier don’t have that. Many of these three-point seatbelts have built-in tensioning systems that hold you tightly in the seat in the case of an emergency. Lastly, an immense improvement in vehicle safety; the airbags. In addition to better seatbelts, modern vehicles also have numerous airbags to cushion you in an accident. There are other things to take into consideration if you are still asking yourself: Should I purchase a classic car? or Are classic cars safe?

Accident prevention

There have been several crash prevention measures developed to help avoid accidents. These technologies have contributed to higher survival rates in accidents. Some of these are tire pressure monitoring, rearview cameras, emergency brake assistance, adaptive cruise control, etc… While most modern vehicles are equipped with these crash prevention tools, none of the classic vehicles are. Therefore, modern vehicles are much safer in terms of avoiding and surviving an accident.


If you’re still asking yourself; are classic cars safe? The answer is no. Classic cars are no undoubtedly less safe than modern cars. In a classic car, it is both harder to avoid an accident and there is a higher chance that you will sustain seriously or maybe even fatal injuries in the event of a crash. Classic cars are for fun. If you are looking for a safe vehicle that will both be able to avoid a crash and protect you from serious injuries, then a classic car is not for you. However, if you are looking to have a fun time driving a piece of history, then maybe it is.


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