A medical expert once opined that the sudden stop in motion, from say 50mph to naught in a split second, in the event of an accident, is a major cause of death. That is, our internal organs can't withstand the forces involved, regardless of safety features in our cars.one opinion. aint arguing i am right or wrong .. just sharing my experience with this topic.
as a former auto exec former with access to raw data on design, crash forces in the lab and studies of real world accidents... old vs. new cars .. the data say all things "equal" (meaning the speeds, vehicle sizes, crash conditions - hit a tree, vs went over a cliff, vs fender bender in the parking lot, etc., are comparable), the new car is "safer" to a demonstrated statistical certainty (e.g. really HIGH p-factors for the propeller heads here: P-value )
forget the fancy stats part .. to me using common sense: air bags, ABS, seat belts, and all the design stuff you cant see but you know the new car has that the old one doesnt, the new car has safety advantages over the old one.
all of that is NOT the same thing as saying new cars are "safe" and old cars are not safe. driving -- the act of being behind the controls of these machines -- is the challenge for the "man and the machine" as it relates to safety.
Driving has an inherent danger factor .. the car builder does his/her best within constraints of cost (affordability), size, weight, operating conditions, unknown contingencies, technologies -- thats just the car then add the components (tires, glass, electronics, etc) needed to make driving as "safe" as it can be given its inherent danger (2 tons, going 80 mph or higher, in the snow, the dark, impaired operators, etc.)
oh and the laws of physics on this planet, compared to the tolerances the human body has vs. those laws shows we are pretty fragile vs. the actual and potential forces on us while driving.