It may seem obvious - but now it’s official. The owners of cherished and classic cars are the safest drivers in Germany, according to a survey by Dresden University for the VDA car industry federation.

The figures show that the owners of such older cars, many of which have been lovingly restored, drive much more carefully than the average motorist. Vehicles older than 30 years make up nearly one percent of the cars on German roads but are involved in only 0.1 percent of accidents.

Thirty-six percent of cars in Germany are less than four years old.

These account for 31 percent of all road accidents.

Technical defects also led to far fewer accidents among cherished classics (0.8 percent) than was the case with cars aged up to nine years old (1.5 percent).

The clean accident record of classic car drivers becomes even more apparent when road injury statistics are taken into account. Only 91 out of every 100 000 registered classic cars were involved in crashes that resulted in injuries.

Experts said the outcome was remarkable considering that classics seldom have the range of active and passive safety features, such as airbags and crumple zones, that modern cars have, and in some cases were not even fitted with seatbelts. - Sapa-dpa