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When shopping for a car for your teen driver, many of us are tempted to find something that fits only two criteria: Can we afford it and does it run?
But it is not always the best decision to buy a cheap “beater” or pass on an old hand-me-down to your teen. Newer cars often come equipped with newer technology, which can be crucial in keeping your teen safe on the road.
Common safety technology features may include blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning (which warns of an impending crash) and many more. The key message is don’t ignore safety when car shopping with your teen; put it at the top of your list. You should not make a decision based solely on the cost of the car.
However, cost is a major factor for most parents, one that most families cannot ignore. Fortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recommends vehicles for teen drivers based on both safety performance and affordability. The list features within a price range of $2,000 to $20,000 and incorporates four main criteria:
In addition to a vehicle’s overall rating there are many safety features to check before buying, such as:
It’s essential to get a safe and secure vehicle for your teen because their inexperience means they are more likely to be involved in a crash than more seasoned drivers. So take the time to find a car that will keep your teen safe and, while you’re at it, make sure both you and your teen really understand how the safety features work.
DriveitHOME™ is an initiative of the National Safety Council, designed by and for parents of newly licensed teen drivers. DriveitHOME™ offers free resources parents can use to help their teen build experience to become safer drivers.