What vehicle features are considered important when buying an automobile? An examination of driver preferences by age and gender
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INTRODUCTION: Certain vehicle features can help drivers avoid collisions and/or protect occupants in the event of a crash, and therefore, might play an important role when deciding which vehicle to purchase. The objective of this study was to examine the importance attributed to key vehicle features (including safety) that drivers consider when buying a car and its association with age and gender. METHODS: A sample of 2,002 Canadian drivers aged 18 years and older completed a survey that asked them to rank the importance of eight vehicle features if they were to purchase a vehicle (storage, mileage, safety, price, comfort, performance, design, and reliability). ANOVA tests were performed to: (a) determine if there were differences in the level of importance between features and; (b) examine the effect of age and gender on the importance attributed to these features. RESULTS: Of the features examined, safety and reliability were the most highly rated in terms of importance, whereas design and performance had the lowest rating. Differences in safety and performance across age groups were dependent on gender. This effect was most evident in the youngest and oldest age groups. CONCLUSIONS: Safety and reliability were considered the most important features. Age and gender play a significant role in explaining the importance of certain features. IMPACT ON INDUSTRY: Targeted efforts for translating safety-related information to the youngest and oldest consumers should be emphasized due to their high collision, injury, and fatality rates.
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