Teen drivers and pensioners are more likely to be driving cars that lack safety features, new research has found.

The study from the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) says the two age groups are also at a higher risk of being involved in a collision, with newly-licensed drivers having the highest crash risk of any age group, and older drivers having the highest crash fatality rate.

Teens and older drivers are more likely than middle-aged adults to drive older cars that do not have electronic stability control (ESC) or side and curtain air bags, the research found. And drivers of all ages from lower-income neighborhoods are less likely to drive newer, safer cars.

“All drivers should strive to be in the safest vehicle they can afford, regardless of age or income level,” said Dr Kristi Metzger, first author of the study. “There are many vehicles available with key safety features that won’t break the bank, some for less than $7,000.”

The study was published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention.