People are increasingly choosing second-hitch cars, which are often cheaper, better equipped and safer than second-generation vehicles, according to new research from the nonprofit Consumer Reports.
In addition to lower emissions and better handling, second-wheeled vehicles are often much more environmentally friendly, according the study.
“It’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint,” said Sarah G. Gorman, senior director of research for the Center for Sustainable Car Care at Consumer Reports, which published the findings in a research journal.
Second-hand cars can be found at car dealerships, flea markets, fleabag stores and other retail stores.
They’re popular among younger drivers, who like the convenience of not having to carry a bulky second-gen vehicle with them when they’re out and about.
Secondhand cars come with a range of safety features including a windshield protector, airbags, a rearview camera, air conditioning, and a rear-view mirror, among others.
However, the vehicles often are not as safe as second-hands, and there are some safety concerns.
For instance, a second-gens car may be equipped with a front airbag system, which has been linked to multiple fatal crashes in the U.S.
A study published by the Environmental Protection Agency in May said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had found that about 20% of all second-guessing incidents involved drivers who were in an accident and the number of injuries increased after they drove off the road.
The EPA study, released in the fall, found that drivers who used their second-glasses in an oncoming vehicle were at an increased risk for serious injuries.
Another study published last month found that the majority of drivers who said they had driven their car off the highway had done so in a rear end collision, causing the car to roll forward into a tree or other object.
A third study found that a majority of second-wheelers had their car towed, and most of those who did not had to pay a fee.
In general, secondhand cars are much less fuel-efficient than secondhand vehicles, which often cost $5,000 or more.
Second hand cars have been known to be heavier, have higher mileage, have smaller tires and generally be more difficult to maintain.
Consumers also tend to buy more second- and third-hand vehicles than their first-hand counterparts.
They also tend not to be as safe.
The Consumer Reports study found a significant increase in the number and frequency of crashes involving second-grade vehicles, from 10% to 22%.
Second-graders are more likely to be involved in accidents.
Consumer Reports reported a total of 638 crashes involving a second grade car and an average of seven injuries.
Second-grader deaths in the United States increased from 16 in 2013 to 21 in 2016.
A 2017 study found second-grad student deaths increased in all but one year from 2011 to 2016, and in 2016 there were 3,639 reported student deaths in secondary schools.
Gorman said the best way to protect yourself is to get an approved second-level driver’s license, which requires you to complete a three-hour driving test and have an instructor check your driving record.
A secondary school driver’s manual also can help.
The Consumer Reports report found that among the top three reasons for secondhand car use was to reduce emissions, reduce emissions and to avoid having to replace a vehicle with a second one, but other reasons include convenience, to protect children and to save on repairs.
Glynn R. Jones, senior vice president of research at the National Association of Manufacturers, said there are other safety benefits of secondhand driving.
“There are many safety improvements that you can get from a car that you don’t have to pay for, like a safety harness or air bags, and also a rear view camera that will help your driver see if there are any other kids around that might be in the car,” Jones said.
Jones said that a secondhand driver’s first impression of the car may help them avoid potential accidents.
“If you have a second opinion, then you’re more likely not to get into an accident,” Jones added.
Consumer Reports surveyed more than 1,200 adults and nearly half of them reported having purchased a second hand vehicle.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
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