We all want our teens to be as safe as possible when they’re out on the road, therefore it’s very important for us as parents to know what the key factors are when deciding which vehicle to put them in. It’s easy to say that we’d like them in a safe vehicle – those with great track records concerning air bag deployment, sturdy side door reinforcements, etc. But there are other, less obvious considerations that also need to be taken into account.
Listed below are the 6 critical factors that professionals agree will help to keep our teens as safe as they can be when driving.
- Look for Later Model Cars: 2007 and newer. Newer cars are simply more reliable than older ones.
- Electronic Stability Control: This feature automatically senses, in microseconds, a loss of steering ability and immediately applies differential braking to slow the vehicle and point it in the direction it was heading just prior to the start of the skid.
- Good Acceleration: Though we don’t want our youngsters screaming down the freeway at 90 mph, we don’t want them slogging along on an entrance ramp either. The best car for easy access to highways is one that can accelerate to 60 mph in 8 to 11 seconds.
- Fast, but not Too Fast: So while we want to ensure our kids can safely merge with traffic we don’t want them encouraged to race. Buying your teen a sports car is just asking for trouble! Stick with safety and functionality!
- Not Too Big or Roomy: We are strong advocates of having NO passengers for the first year of licensure, and very limited passengers (2 or less) until your teen has extensive driving experience. Look for a vehicle that can accommodate no more than 5 at a time.
- No SUV’s: This is simply because, along with violating the previous rule, their higher center of gravity makes it far easier for them to roll over.
There are a number of newer vehicles, which match these criteria, such as the Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Rabbit etc. Visit a consumer reports website for further information.
Safety, Reliability and Parental Peace of Mind!!