Getting a driver’s license is one of the teenage rites of passage. When your teenager is ready to start driving, it’s a good idea to put some serious thought into the type of car that your teen drives. After all, teen drivers have a higher risk of getting into a car accident than any other age group.
Many teens drive older model cars that are family hand-me-downs or cost less to purchase than a new car. Teens also tend to drive smaller cars that require less pocket money to fill up the gas tank. While that’s understandable, smaller cars offer less protection in a collision than larger vehicles and older cars lack many of the safety features that new models have.
A study recently published in the journal Injury Prevention found that almost half of the teenage drivers ages 15 to 17 years old who died in car accidents from 2008 to 2012 were in vehicles at least 11 years old. In addition, nearly a third of the accident victims were driving small cars, the researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said.
In other words, many of the most accident prone drivers are driving the most dangerous cars. It’s important to take into account car safety as well as affordability in selecting a vehicle.
The IIHS does safety testing of vehicles and compiles a list of recommended safe vehicles for teen drivers. In making the recommendations, the it focuses on four main principles:
Recognizing that many families cannot afford to buy a 2015 model car for a teenage driver, the IIHS put together a list of more affordable used cars that have certain safety features. Their prices range from less than $5,000 to $20,000, so there is a safe car to fit many budgets.
The list of car recommendations for teen drivers is broken into best choices and good choices. Here are some highlights of the best category:
You can view the complete lists of recommended vehicles for teen drivers here.
An encouraging fact is that fatalities among teenage drivers in Kentucky dropped by more than half from 2004 to 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Still, young drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be in a fatal accident than drivers ages 20 and older. As car accident attorneys who represent those harmed by other drivers, we see firsthand how those accidents devastate families.
Teen drivers are inexperienced drivers. They’re more likely to make incorrect assumptions about another driver’s intent. It makes sense to put them in the safest vehicle possible to protect them.