When teenagers start driving, parents start thinking about which car they are going to drive as their first car. Getting your first car is a thrilling experience because it represents freedom. Driving comes with its own set of hazards, and the car that your child drives should reduce the dangers of first-time driving. The type of car that you allow your teen to drive could save their life or avoid serious injury in an accident.
Parents must do extensive research before buying a car for their teen. The decision that they make can literally save their child’s life in the event of an accident. The good news is that experts have done much of the work for a parent, publishing extensive research on vehicle safety and what models may be best for a teen driver.
If your child has suffered an injury in a car accident, you contact an experienced car accident lawyer to help determine whether you may have a potential claim for financial compensation for their injuries.
Table of Contents
When parents are buying a car for their teen (or giving them one), they must consider safety in case their teen is involved in an accident. The car they buy should help their teen driver avoid accidents and protect them if they are involved in one.
It’s understandable that people don’t want to spend a lot of money on their teen driver’s first car. The right car for a teen will incorporate the following several factors:
Of course, you cannot afford what is outside your budget, but you should consider investing as much as possible in your child’s safety. It is an investment that will pay off as your child gets more experience behind the wheel and continuously reaches their destination safely.
Parents may want to save money on gasoline – or the car itself – by buying the child a smaller car. However, the car needs to withstand a potentially severe impact. With that in mind, parents should immediately rule out a very small car since they will not fare as well in a serious crash. Buying and operating a car is an investment in your teen’s safety, and you should not jeopardize it to help save money.
The fatality rate is highest in very small or mini cars, with 78 deaths for every ten billion miles. The fatality rates improve somewhat in small cars, with 45 deaths for every ten billion miles. The class of cars with the lowest fatality rate is mid-size cars. Large cars can also be dangerous for teen drivers, who may not properly control them or judge the proper following distance behind other vehicles.
It’s important to consider a car that has features specifically designed to protect teen drivers and allow for the monitoring of their driving. Parents may want to keep tabs on their child’s behavior behind the wheel to ensure that they do not pick up dangerous driving habits. For example, some cars have a safety feature that provides driving reports to parents, so parents can check speed and other habits.
Some of the best cars for teens don’t have expensive monitoring technology. There are safe driving apps that parents can use that report their teen’s driving. In addition, parents should also consider cell phone blocking apps that keep their teens from using their mobile devices while driving.
Before buying a car, parents should also check the vehicle’s safety rating, especially how it performs in crash tests.
Here are other elements of a car’s safety rating:
You should research all available safety features to determine which ones are absolutely essential and can fit within your budget.
Parents should also be wary of paying for options that can encourage aggressive or distracted driving. If a car has too much engine power, a teen driver may have a greater temptation to speed and drive recklessly.
Accordingly, you may want to avoid models that would be considered performance vehicles. At the same time, a sports car should also be out of the question. Not only can it encourage dangerous driving, but it also might not withstand a crash. Similarly, if the car has too many features that can engage the driver, it can take their attention from the road. In other words, you should avoid buying a car for your teen that has too many bells and whistles.
The proper car is a mix of size and the right safety features. Some cars come standard with helpful devices, such as blindspot monitoring and automatic braking. These safety devices can lend an additional hand to a new driver who is just learning their way behind the wheel. You may also consider investing in a car with forward collision monitoring and a collision avoidance system.
Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have teamed up to compile a list of cars that are best for teen drivers. Recognizing affordability as a factor, the list chooses the best used vehicles in price tiers up to $20,000. The list ranks cars with good ratings using best choices and good choices.
Subaru vehicles score high in their classes.
The list recommends these Subarus as safe choices:
In addition, the 2014 to 2019 model years of the Mazda 6 are also on the list of the best cars. This is one of the safest models for teenagers, in part because of its many safety features. It is an IIHS top safety pick that is also affordable for parents.
The Honda CRV is considered one of the safest cars and small SUVs for teen drivers. It is small enough to handle while performing well in a crash. The CRV is also known to be reliable. In addition, the Mazda CX-5 also has a reputation as a safe vehicle, as a Mazda generally has a good reputation for safety.
For parents, the focus should also be on encouraging safe driving habits in their teens.
It should become instinctive for teens to:
These habits can help keep young drivers safe, no matter what type of car they are driving. Parents should take action to correct bad habits if they learn that their teen is not driving safely. Road safety is every bit as much of the parent’s responsibility as it is their teen driver’s. Before you give your teenager the keys to the car, they should know the rules of safe driving. They should also know what to do if they encounter an unsafe driver or are in a crash.
No matter how safe your teen driver is behind the wheel, they cannot control what other drivers do on the road. Motorists are becoming increasingly more reckless, raising the risk that your teen can suffer injuries in a car accident.
If your teen driver has suffered an injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, they may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. As parents, you can file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of your injured teen, or they may wait until after they turn 18 to file it on their own. To receive financial compensation for the accident, you will need to prove that someone else was negligent.
The obstacle you will need to overcome is that an insurance company will automatically look to blame a teen driver for a car accident. They try to take advantage of the perception that teens are dangerous and risky drivers and use it to deny claims. Your teen will need a car accident lawyer to tell their side of the story and keep them from being wrongly blamed for the crash.
If the insurance company does not give your teen a fair shake, the lawyer can always file a lawsuit in court and let the jury decide the issue. Negligence is an objective standard based on the actual actions of a driver, and it has nothing to do with a driver’s age.
A car accident lawyer will help by gathering actual evidence that shows what really happened in the crash, so you will be ready when the insurance company reflexively looks to blame the teen for the accident. Then, they will push back when the insurance company tries to pin some or all of the responsibility on the teen driver.
Remember that the insurance company is not in a position where it has the final say or can dictate anything. Just like your car insurance company will represent you in the event of an accident, the other driver’s insurance company stands in their place. While the insurance company will make an attempt to settle a claim (or deny it entirely), they will not be the ultimate arbiter of anything.
Instead, if you do not get to a satisfactory place with the insurance company, you can always take your case to court and have an objective and non-conflicted jury decide the matter.
A car accident lawyer can help your family by:
You should always contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. Just because your driver is a teenager does not mean that the insurance company will take it easy on them in the process of determining liability.
On the contrary – the insurance company may prey upon your child’s fear and inexperience to push them into admitting something or making a statement. If your child is old enough to drive, they are old enough to say something that can harm their legal case.
An attorney can help protect your child from the efforts of the insurance company to push them around. Without an attorney, your teen driver can end up being pinned with the blame for the accident when it was really the other driver’s fault.
You want to seek justice for your teen driver’s injuries, just like you would for your own. Contact a car accident lawyer today about a possible case and how you can recover for accident-related losses.
We Are Here For You 24/7
“Really pleased with Boohoff Law! Received immediate responses when I had any questions. Treated amazingly by all staff … made this process a true breeze!”