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Crash Safety

I’ve been wondering what percentage difference there is in crash safety between older cars and new ones. Specifically the ones that introduced the serious safety measures into their designs - Mid 90’s. And I’m really only talking about the structural safety - the cage, energy absorption, side impact bars etc. I’m not so much talking about airbags and side airbags. For example, on the Fifth generation Honda Accord, what percentage increase in safety has there been between it and a new 2009 Honda accord, eighth generation I think.

I think the mid 90’s Honda Accord probably has very comparable protection to the new car - but I don’t know, and could be completely wrong. If I someone could determine the differences between the fifth generation’s archived government information and eighth, it could probably give us a good indication.

Does anyone know if anyone has looked into this and has the data available on a website somewhere? or this car and all other cars?


I don’t have the answer you seek but the computer design technology used in auto industry has made quantum leaps since the mid '90’s. Also production improvements, robotic assembly, better welding, more refined materials etc. leads me to believe the differences are much more dramatic and significant than you may think.

The passenger’s in a 2009 car stand a much better chance of sustaining much less damage and injury compared to the same accident in a 1995 vintage car.

The fallacy of the older Volvo (cars) safety with it’s weight for example, is pretty much debunked by the utube presentation on one of our previous threads…anyone remember it ? Cars are getting better all the time; I disagree that they were as good. Whether it be car crashes or anything else, at some point doubters have to trust at least little of the science; the metallurgy being a huge part in this case.

Not really an Accord, but it does show how far we’ve come

The Accord, and probably every other car, is better than it used to be:

The data is similar for the DOT tests.


The big difference between late 90s-early 2000s cars and late 2000s is side-impact protection.

The difference between late 90s-early 2000s cars and late 80s-early 90s cars is that the later ones do better in front-offset collisions (as opposed to full-frontal).

The differences between late 80s-early 90s cars and earlier ones are that the later ones do better in full-frontal crash tests, and the addition of mandatory air bags.

The difference between late 2000s cars and the ones in the next few years will be how well the roofs hold up to rollovers.

These improvements almost never happen unless the government or some other organization introduces new tests and publicizes the results in order to shame the poor performers.

For the US:

This is’s list of links to extremely detailed information. I mean like acceleration data for every point on the dummy, things like that.

If you don’t find it there, the Japanese and European tests are comparable…the tests are mostly identical, but right-hand-drive and LHD models may not perform identically.

I want to thank you all for your excellent responses to my question, and that Youtube video really says a lot.
Thanks to you all!!