While teenage drivers are the segment that is most likely to have a car accident, they are also the most likely to get an unsafe car – old, small or without adequate crash protection.
This is what resulted from a study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit organization. The group also released an extensive list of recommended cars that can help parents feel their offspring is well protected. The lists included only used cars, with a budget ranging from just $5,000 to nearly $20,000.
“A teenager’s first car is more than just a financial decision,” Adrian Lund, the institute’s president, said in a statement. “These lists of recommended used vehicles can help consumers factor in safety, in addition to affordability.”
Besides the list, the institute also released a list of recommended principles when buying a car for the teen in the family, as the survey’s findings showed that many parents end up buying unsuitable cars.
The first principle is to avoid cars with powerful engines – the temptation to test all limits is very high for any teen. The bigger and heavier, the better. Hulking vehicles have a massive (pun intended) advantage over smaller, cramped cars that teens usually drive. ESC is fundamental – the electronic stability control can save lives. The Institute is also involved in crash testing, so a good safety rating from the IIHS as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also a factor to take into account.