For most teenagers, getting a car is one of life’s great highlights. For parents, though, it can be a scary proposition; teen drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents, including fatal car crashes. When you’re buying or leasing a car for your teen, therefore, safety is much more important than styling.Here are five keys to choosing the safest car for your teen:
- Size: When two cars collide, the larger vehicle almost always wins. It is a simple function of mass and momentum — and of having more car to crumple before impacting the car’s occupants. The one caveat is that SUVs, which are certainly large, are also much more prone to dangerous rollovers.
- Power: When it comes to choosing the safest car, power is actually a drawback. More power means the ability (and temptation) to drive faster. High speeds cause more accidents and more damage when the accidents occur.
- Age: It is common for teenagers to get the hand-me-down car. That might make sense if you’re thinking about getting a new car yourself, but it doesn’t necessarily make sense if you’re concerned about safety. Newer vehicles are more likely to be equipped with the latest safety features and are more likely to have all parts in good working order.
- Crash avoidance technology. Some of the safety features available on newer cars include systems that actively work to prevent accidents. Examples include emergency-brake assist, blind-spot monitors and so-called pre-collision systems.
- Crash test ratings. If your teen does get into an automobile accident despite these precautions, you want her to be in a car that will protect her from serious injury. Crash test ratings, such as collision and rollover tests, will tell you how much protection each model provides. They won’t save the car, but they might just save your kid.
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