How to Choose a Safe Car for Your Teen

October 26th, 2012 by

biggers-logoWhen shopping for your teen driver’s first vehicle, you want the safest car possible. Follow these simple tips and we’re sure both you and your teen will be happy:

Look for a vehicle a practical vehicle such as a family sedan. Sports cars and cars equipped with performance features can encourage speeding and reckless driving.

Midsize and full size vehicles are safer than compact cars. Larger vehicles typically have better safety scores and offer better crash protection. Small vehicles, because of their size and weight, offer less protection in accidents.

Check the safety ratings of the vehicles you are considering. Websites such as the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will list safety ratings. Many dealerships, such as Biggers Mazda near Carol Stream, IL will make safety information readily available on their new and used inventory.

Choose a new vehicle as they feature the most up to date safety equipment. Safety cages, crush zones, airbags, and antilock brakes have all improved by leaps and bounds in recent years.

When shopping for a vehicle, make sure the one you choose is equipped with airbags. Most vehicles will have markings on the steering wheel and passenger side dashboard that indicate where airbags are located, but if you are unsure, check the owner’s manual. Cars produced in 1998 and trucks, vans, and utility vehicles produced after 1999 are required by federal law to include dual airbags.

Look for a vehicle with antilock brakes, as well. Antilock braking systems help the driver maintain control during hard stops on slippery surfaces.  Make sure your teen knows not to pump the brakes, but to brake firmly and steer out of a skid.

Avoid SUVs, especially small ones. While their size and weight may make them a tempting choice, they pose significant safety risks. Because of their high centers of gravity they pose a high rollover risk. Drivers with less experience may steer more abruptly, which can increase the risk of rollovers.

Make sure your teen knows to wear their safety belt and insist their passengers do as well.

Buying a car is also a great time to teach your teen about financial responsibility and budgeting. Take the time to discuss other vehicle related costs, such as insurance, and maintenance.

Posted in Driver Safety