The thought of your children turning into drivers can be overwhelming. While it is a blessing to watch them drive, the risks they will be exposed to are scary. Car accidents are common in new drivers, which can arise from their own mistakes or other driver’s errors.
While you have little to no control over other drivers’ actions, there are some things you can do to improve your teen’s driving habits. The first step is to ensure that they undergo extensive road safety training before ever sitting behind the wheel. A close second step is choosing a safe car and insuring it, to avoid a situation where your teen faces penalties for driving without insurance.
Here are some insights on picking a car with your child’s safety as a priority:
Pick the Right Car Size
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to your teen’s safety on the road, from the color of their car to its overall design. While large vehicles may offer ample protection during an accident, maneuvering them isn’t always easy, especially for novice drivers like teenagers. These vehicles also typically have a high center of gravity, which makes them more susceptible to rollovers.
On the flip side, small cars may lack enough space to store all their personal items, such as outdoor gear or equipment. As for crash protection, smaller cars may leave your teen more vulnerable. The best option is a mid-sized vehicle. This offers your teen a mix of safety and maneuverability while providing enough space for their belongings.
Look For Cars That Promote Distraction-Free Driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents involving teens. It only takes the momentary distraction from a single text message to leave your teen vulnerable to an accident. Luckily, brands like Hyundai and Ford have been designing cars that promote safe teen driving by limiting distractions on the road. They have telematics systems that block incoming texts on the driver’s phone, as long as they are driving.
However, you shouldn’t feel limited to cars from manufacturers who offer these features. You can use apps that are aimed at reducing distracted driving. Some apps will block incoming calls and texts when your teen is driving, while others will help you track their driving habits and location.
New Cars Should Be a Priority
If all other factors are constant, you should always choose a new car over an old one. New cars have barely been used, which reduces the chances of having faulty safety features. They may also come with the latest safety technology, which improves every year. Modern cars have crash avoidance features such as lane departure warning, collision warning, cruise control, and blind-zone detection.
These features are invaluable at keeping your teen safe, especially when they are just beginning to learn how to navigate the roads and other vehicles. Some of these safety features increase a vehicle’s cost, but every year more of these additional safety features are becoming standard on newer models. While a new car may be more expensive than an older car, consider it a long-term investment that your teen will appreciate and use for years to come.
Buying Used Cars
Financially speaking, used cars are more enticing than new ones. However, you need to conduct some research before picking one out for your teens. At the very least, you should purchase a vehicle with electronic stability control features. It will ensure your teens have sufficient control on the road, if they were ever involved in an emergency situation.
Take your time inspecting the used vehicle to ensure that all features, including the safety-related ones, are functioning optimally. In case the vehicle has a recall, take care of it immediately. You should have a professional mechanic assess the vehicle, and always take a road test.
Choosing a safe car not only protects your teenager but also helps you avoid costly personal injury lawsuits and helps keep your insurance premiums low. Every other aspect of your teen’s vehicle, including car model and price, should come after safety.