Probably not, relatively speaking. Car safety standards have come a long way in the last few decades. Some vehicles built before the 60s didn’t even have seatbelts.
That said, few people look for safety when buying a classic car and most owners are sensible enough drivers that it’s not too much of a concern. That said, it can be worth making a few small upgrades for peace of mind given that accidents aren’t always the fault of the driver. Here are just a few of the features in your classic car that could be worth modifying to make your vehicle a little safer.
Your classic car’s old belts are likely to be flimsy things that won’t provide much protection in the event of an accident. It can often be worth upgrading these to something more modern. Five point harnesses could be a worthwhile purchase if you want to travel at speed. There are some companies that offer kits for these that are easy to install oneself.
Airbags in some old cars may no longer work. Plastic to metal seals that were used up until the 90s have been proven to be temperamental. Most cars from the 70s and decades before meanwhile weren’t fitted with airbags.
In all cases, upgrading these can be worthwhile. These aren’t too expensive to buy and replace but those installing airbags themselves should be careful, especially buying airbags online as there have been reports of counterfeit ones being sold from China.
Brakes should be one of your primary concerns when modifying a classic car. Brake pads are likely to be worn and less effective. You may even want to get modern ABS fitted. An auto repair company will be able to install all of this for you. Check out your pedals whilst you’re at as these have been known to become looser and less responsive in old cars.
Suspension in a classic car is likely to be nothing like today’s. Whilst ride comfort may not be an issue for many classic car owners, worn suspension can have other risks. In some cases, it may affect steering at high speed, which could be the cause of a nasty accident. It’s worth checking over your whole vehicle’s suspension and replacing any worn parts, as the last thing you want is for them to break whilst travelling at speed.
Not everyone will be up for fitting a roll cage on their car, but given how fragile many older cars are it could be a good precaution for protecting you and your passengers. Those racing classic cars should particularly consider it. There are many fitting services specifically set up for roll cages.