There are a lot of old "road warriors" traveling this Memorial Day weekend. That's because the average age of vehicles in the U.S. is a record 11.6 years, according to one recent study.
That's not entirely a bad news story. The IHS Markit study showed that vehicles are being made with better quality nowadays, leading consumers to own them longer. According to IHS, the average length of ownership was a record 79.3 months, or nearly seven years.
Still, "people are basically driving around in a rotary phone," joked Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book, in an interview with CNBC's "On The Money."
Although the IHS report cited vehicle quality, Lindland insisted that one of her "biggest concerns about having such old vehicles on the road today is just the safety factor. There's a lot of vehicles that only have one air bag, if they have one at all."
Some drivers might be using the holiday weekend as an opportunity to head to the nearest dealership, looking to replace their older models. They'll be greeted by a wide range of cars, trucks and SUVs with state-of-the art technology. Lindland highlighted auto upgrades including lane control, adaptive cruise control and even baby seat connectors.