Experience matters when it comes to safe driving. Teens and other new drivers have long had the highest rates of car accidents, including fatal car accidents. No matter how responsible or reliable your teen driver is, there is simply no substitute for having seen and worked through the many situations that driving a vehicle presents.
For that reason, it’s important to consider safety first when it comes to deciding what kind of car your teen should operate.
Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety worked together to review a number of available options when it comes to picking a car for a teen driver. The first caveat is that it is no easy matter to find and pick out a vehicle right now. To the extent that you can choose a car, this guide can help you make the right choice for your child.
Choosing a safe car has always been a balancing act. Larger vehicles are more likely to withstand a crash. They are also harder to maneuver, slower to stop and may be more likely to get into an accident in the first place.
The top recommendations all had 60 to zero braking distances (dry conditions) of 145 feet or less. They all had a curb weight of 2,750 pounds or more. They all had good crash test data. Finally, all the best options came with standard electronic stability control.
One of the features preferred in new or newer vehicles was vehicle-to-vehicle automated emergency braking. Of all the mistakes made by teen drivers, speeding and distracted driving are probably the most common. Both of these behaviors can be somewhat mitigated by auto-braking technology.
Technology is not always the best solution for protecting teen drivers, however. Some safety systems can be complicated to use. Teens can become over-reliant on technology and get into bad habits.
Back-up cameras are a good example of this, where drivers need to be careful to use the cameras to assist them, rather than relying entirely on the camera when in reverse. Finally, some technology can simply be a distraction for teen drivers who need to be paying attention to the road, rather than built-in gadgets.
The list is broken down into used and new options in various sizes and vehicle types. The prices listed are Kelley Blue Book and may not reflect the true price in the Dallas area. Still, it is a good starting point for people looking to get a vehicle for their teens to drive this summer.
Whatever vehicle your teen drives, remember that the first year or two are by far the most dangerous. Activities like night-driving and driving with multiple passengers can overwhelm a young driver and lead to deadly mistakes. Proper guidance and control are important when helping a young, inexperienced driver make it through the early stages safely.
If an accident does occur, you need to talk to an experienced Dallas car accident attorney as soon as possible. Call Ted B. Lyon & Associates at 866-503-4864 to discuss your situation with one of our knowledgeable professionals.