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How do you choose a safe car for your teen?

17th February 2021 Print

Parents may feel overwhelmed and a bit frightened about buying a car for their teen. You’re probably worried about safety and cost.

The good news is cars are safer than ever. If you follow the guidelines below, you’ll purchase a reliable and secure vehicle for your teenager. (A Hyundai i30 sedan is a good choice!)

Safe Vehicle Choices

Choosing a safe vehicle is easier than in the past. An excellent place to start is to study vehicle crash test data. The NHTSA and IHHS perform regular crash tests that show which vehicles are the safest in various crash situations. 

According to the NHTSA, the safest models have 5-star ratings. The IIHS lists the safest vehicles in its annual top safety choices. 

Another vital safety consideration is car size. It’s wise to avoid the most significant vehicles, including trucks, large sedans, and SUVs. These take longer to stop and are harder for an inexperienced driver to handle.

Large SUVs and trucks also have a high center of gravity and can roll over more readily in a crash. Rollovers are often deadly, so it’s better to choose something else. advises that midsize sedans may offer the right balance of maneuverability and safety for newer drivers. A midsize sedan is large enough to protect your teen from a wreck. But it’s also small enough for your teen to handle routine driving.

Many midsize sedans also offer substantial protection in a car accident. Plus, they have enough room for cargo and athletic gear.

Avoid High Horsepower

V6 engines are popular in midsize sedans. However, modern six-cylinders often feature considerable horsepower that can be hazardous for inexperienced, aggressive drivers.

A four-cylinder engine may be a better choice because it has enough power for regular driving but not enough to be dangerous. Four-cylinder motors cannot accelerate as quickly, so it’s less likely your teen will be breaking the speed limit. These vehicles also get better gas mileage. 

Your teen may not want to hear it, but you should avoid sports cars, turbocharged engines, and any vehicle with a sporty image that encourages aggressive driving. 

Distraction-Reducing Technology

Driving distracted is a growing problem among teenagers. Texting and driving are dangerous. But new technology discourages distracted driving and makes the road safer. 

For example, Ford and Hyundai offer telematics systems that empower parents to block their teens’ incoming text messages when their vehicle is moving. Also, certain smartphone apps, such as LifeBeforeText, discourage distracted driving.

This one blocks incoming phone calls and text messages when the teen is driving. State Farm’s Driver Feedback app uses the accelerometer on an iPhone to monitor braking, speed, and cornering. It also creates a map that parents can use to watch for hazardous driving. 

Choose Used Cars Carefully 

Used cars can offer a fantastic deal when compared to new ones. But you’ll need to do your homework to ensure that the one that interests your new driver includes enough safety features. strongly recommends used vehicles that offer electronic stability control. Newer models are more likely to have electronic stability control. This feature helps inexperienced drivers to avoid accidents caused by errors such as taking corners too fast. 

Parents looking for a car for their teen also should seek  used vehicles with several airbags, antilock braking, daytime running lights, and an automatic transmission. Automatics are easier to drive and allow the novice to focus on braking, throttle control, and steering.

Antilock braking makes stopping easier and avoids wheel lockups that often lead to accidents. 

Everyone wants their teen’s first car to be as safe as possible. Fortunately, even older cars these days are safer than vehicles from decades past. Following the tips above will ensure your teen has a car that will keep her safe as she’s learning the rules of the road.