Obtaining your driver’s license is one of life’s important milestones. As a teen, your license is your ticket to more independence and additionally, more responsibility. While parents wish to protect their children from harm no matter their age, letting them get behind the wheel alone is hard. The good news is there are safe cars on the market that protect teens, in a variety of price ranges and make/model choices.
What Defines Safety in Cars for Teens
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted extensive research into which cars are best for teen drivers. The institute based their findings upon the four following safety principles:
- Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. This means a four or five-star rating, based upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety rating guidelines.
- Big, heavy vehicles are best. Not only do they protect teens in the event of a crash, but studies also show that teens are less likely to crash them in the first place.
- Electronic stability control (ESC) is imperative. This feature helps teens maintain control on curves and slippery roads.
- Stay away from vehicles with horsepower. Powerful engines are simply too tempting for teens to try out, placing themselves at greater risk for a crash.
Your teen may want a cuter, more attractive car like that of a mini car. Safety must overrule looks when it comes to a vehicle for your teen. While the IIHS does not include mini cars on their list of recommended vehicles, they do include small and midsize SUVs.
In addition to the safety list above, the IIHS encourages parents to research outstanding recalls for any used vehicle they intend to purchase. This is easily done using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Best Teen Vehicle Choices for Price Ranges of $20,000 and Less
The IIHS list of best vehicle choices for price ranges of $20,000 and under uses Kelley Blue Book values from September of 2018. The vehicles earned favorable ratings from the IIHS and four to five stars from the NHTSA. The list includes the following vehicles:
- Volkswagen Passat, 2013 and newer
- Volvo S60, 2011 and newer
- Ford Fusion, 2013 and newer
- Subaru Legacy, 2013 and newer
- Honda Accord Coupe, 2013 and newer
- Volvo S80, 2007 and newer
- Ford Taurus, 2013 and newer
- Chevrolet Impala, 2015 and newer
- Infiniti M37/Q70, 2013 and newer
- Toyota Avalon, 2015 and newer
- Mazda CX-5, 2014 and newer
- Fiat 500X, 2016 and newer
- Nissan Rogue, 2014 and newer
- Subaru Forrester, 2014 and newer
- Buick Encore, 2015 and newer
Small Pick Up Truck
- Toyota Tacoma Access cab, 2016 or newer
Large Pick-Up Truck
- Toyota Tundra, double cab, 2014 or newer
The IIHS also lists vehicles receiving a good rating that lists for under $10,000. This list is available on the IIHS website.
The Latest in Teen Driving Technology
Car manufacturers are developing new ways for parents to supervise their teen drivers without having to ride with them. Ford developed the MyKey system that enforces good driving habits such as buckling up. The “Belt-Minder” chimes and will mute car speakers until your teen buckles up. Parents of teens driving certain model Chevrolets can access in-car driving reports. These reports help parents better monitor their teen’s driving habits so that they can provide guidance for safer driving habits.
If a newer model car with the latest technology isn’t financially feasible, consider downloading a safe driving app. While smartphones and teen driving are a dangerous combination, certain apps can serve as a safeguard against dangers such as texting and driving.
The Life360 app has many features that appeal to parents. These features include location tracking, speed monitoring and text alerts for hard braking, rapid acceleration, and crashes. The app also has a driver safety mode feature and 27/7 driver care support. The Life360 app is available for both Android and iOS phones.
When Another Driver Crashes Into Your Teen
No amount of protection or technology can prevent a reckless driver from crashing into your teen’s vehicle. While your teen may drive defensively and in the safest car possible, a negligent driver speeding, driving impaired, or distracted can cause your teen serious harm.
Dangerous drivers are all around us and represent all ages, from teens to seniors. A crash is a scary moment for anyone, especially for someone who is new to driving. A serious crash can result in injuries ranging from broken bones to serious head trauma.
Having an injured teen results in medical bills, emotional stress, and missed time from work. Your teen may need future surgeries and therapies moving forward. Holding the dangerous driver accountable for their actions requires the skills of a personal injury lawyer.
Call the Boohoff Law Firm After an Auto Accident Involving a Teen Driver
Most of us remember the feelings of freedom we experienced as teens when we received our driver’s license. Now, many of us our parents and we worry when our teens get behind the wheel. Fortunately, research like that of IIHS help us decide on the right car and new technologies provide opportunities for peace-of-mind.
Unfortunately, other drivers aren’t as proactive or cautious when it comes to driving. Their haste to get one car ahead, their decision to drink and drive, and their bad habits of texting while driving put all of us at risk.
At the Boohoff Law Firm, we believe drivers of all ages should share the road. Teaching new drivers the proper skills is essential for developing good drivers. When another driver fails to obey laws and causes serious harm to your teen driver, it’s time to reach out to our highly experienced legal team.
It’s time to hold dangerous drivers accountable for their actions. Let us help you by scheduling your free consultation today.