Check out this video of a crash test between a 1998 Toyota Corolla and a 2015 model.
It’s from Australia so the 1998 model doesn’t have airbags.*
ANCAP CEO, James Goodwin, says:
It is unfortunate we tend to see our most at-risk drivers – the young and inexperienced, as well as the elderly and more frail – in the most at-risk vehicles, and we hope this test promotes a conversation to encourage all motorists to consider the safety of their car.
*Airbags became mandatory in the US in 1998 ; they are not mandatory in Canada. Instead, the vehicle must meet a certain level of passenger safety. Since a lot of the cars are built in the US and/or designed for the US market, airbags will be in the Canadian models. (source)
My first car was a 1986 Chevette Scooter. It was a great little car that my dad bought for my 16th birthday. It was only a year younger than me! It only had AM radio, no AC but good heat, and I had very few problems with it.
But, looking back, that was not a very safe car! It had no air bags and it barely got up to speed by the end of the 400SB/Essa Road merge lane.
I’m a very good driver and, thankfully, have never been in a collision. But even the best drivers can’t always avoid the idiots (like drunk drivers) so, get a safe car!