In a recent study, IIHS discovered a surprising truth. In the second-hand market, drivers are not aware of the active safety features of their car. This serious discovery meant that all the new safety features that automakers and lawmakers were constantly developing were being used less and less as cars hit the market. The IIHS study uncovers some very interesting truths about driver education when buying a car, which is especially important as more buyers flock to the used market during this time of limited new car supplies.
IIHS conducted a study involving 750 car owners with new models from the 2016 to 2019 model years. 402 owners bought new cars while 362 bought in the used market. According to their research, “Used car buyers are substantially less likely than new car buyers to know about the advanced driver assistance features built into their vehicles,” said IIHS Senior Scientist Ian Reagan, author of the study. “They also tend to be unable to explain how the feature works, and they have less faith in it. That can translate into less frequent use, leading to reduced crashes of the system. ”
So why are used car buyers less likely to understand the active safety features in their used cars? Based on the data it boils down to education and interest. When buying a used car from a multi-OEM dealer, the salesperson may not have all the information to properly train the customer. Also, if a buyer looking at a used car is looking for a good deal then they most likely haven’t done the same level of research on a particular model as a new car buyer.
This unique combination of education and desire can impact the lives of the owner and others on the road. According to IIHS, “automated emergency braking (AEB) reduces police-reported front-to-back accidents by 50 percent. Lane departure warnings reduce single-vehicle accidents, side friction, and head-on collisions by 11 percent, and blind spot warnings reduce lane-change accidents by 14 percent.” These numbers mean nothing if the owners are not aware of the active safety items in their car.