IIHS Safety Ratings for Teen Cars
If you are on the lookout to purchase a car for your teenage driver this year, there are a few new safety recommendations from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that can help parents who are trying to decide on used car models.
The IIHS gives four principles for buying used cars for your teen, in addition to the list of recommendations and safety studies they have available.
- Limit horsepower because more powerful engines can tempt drivers to test a car’s limits.
- Bigger, heavier vehicles offer better protection in case of a crash (IIHS didn’t choose any minicars or small cars on the recommended list).
- ESC is a must-have feature because it helps drivers control their vehicle on curves and slippery roads; IIHS said the safety benefits were comparable to seatbelts.
- Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible; that means good ratings in the moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in the side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
When you are looking for a car for your teenage driver, keep in mind that older isn’t always better. Make sure they have the proper safety features to protect them in the event of a crash, and above everything else, make sure they understand and respect the responsibility of driving. Distracted driving is a threat to teenagers above any other age group, and if we don’t teach our kids to put down their cell phones and keep their eyes on the road, the problem will only get worse.
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