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Choosing a Safe Vehicle

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, worried parents can protect their teenagers by choosing a safe vehicle. Teenagers should drive vehicles that reduce the chances of being in a crash and that offer state-of-the-art protection in case they do crash.

Parents should:

  • Avoid choosing a vehicle with a high performance image for their teenager to drive. Sports cars and other vehicles with performance features such as turbocharging are likely to encourage speeding. In choosing a vehicle with a sedate image, parents can reduce the chances that their teenager will be in a speed-related crash.
  • Prohibit their teenager from driving an unstable vehicle. Sport utility vehicles, especially the smaller ones, are inherently less stable than sedans because of their high centers of gravity.
  • Consider a mid- or full-size vehicle for their teenage driver. Large vehicles offer more protection in crashes than smaller ones. However, this doesn't mean that parents should put their teenager in the largest vehicle they can find. Many mid- and full-size cars offer more-than-adequate crash protection. Parents need to check the safety ratings of mid-and full-size cars. (IIHS)