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Teens at Greater Risk in Smaller, Older Cars

Steve Wagner

Most of us spend our children’s entire lives worrying about their safety and protecting them from the harm the world has to offer outside of our care. When our teens turn 15 and test for their permits, studies are showing this is where parents start to lessen their safety concerns and become more concerned with saving a buck or two.

When your teens are most at risk for injury (did you know the highest cause of death among American teenagers is car accidents?), statistics are showing that more parents are opting for older, less expensive cars (often with bad safety ratings, outdated technology, and smaller sizes that are frequently crushed like a bug up against larger vehicles) for their new, young drivers.

We all want to spoil our kids just a little and show them how awesome we think they are, but don’t do this by skimping so you can afford a car for them as soon as they get their license. Save for another year; let them contribute to the cost. Most importantly, do your research! Safety ratings are given for a reason, and choosing a car that has bad ratings, or even a car that is too small and will be handled irresponsibly by a young driver, is only asking for trouble.

FOX News just told us that 82% of the teenagers who were killed in auto accidents were driving vehicles that were at least 6 years old. Out of the group sampled, 52% of teen drivers killed were driving either mid-sized or mini cars, cars far more susceptible to damage in the event of an accident.

Safercar.gov provides excellent information on the safety ratings for cars on the roads today, even cars as old as from 1990. If you’re going to purchase a used car for your teen, at least put in the leg work to research the best safety options, in addition to cost savings. The money you save won’t mean much when your teen’s life is at risk in an unsafe car.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety is another great resource for parents who are looking out for the well-being of their teens, as well as other drivers on the road. Every year, the IIHS gives out its Top Safety Picks to cars with the best ratings overall, and breaks down different categories where cars score best.

If your teen has already been injured in an auto accident, let us help facilitate their recovery by relieving the pressure of medical bills and extra expenses. Call the vehicular accident attorneys at Wagner Reese today for more information.

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