While most teens nowadays value their smart phone more than car ownership, the fact is, most kids still need to get from point A to point B. Whether it’s your car they’ll be driving or their own set of wheels, there are a number of safety considerations that go into picking the right car for a new driver.
Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a vehicle:
The more standard safety features, the better.
Be sure to look for cars that come standard with safety features like anti-lock brakes (ABS), and front and side airbags. Protective airbags like these can be crucial in keeping drivers safe during a vehicle rollover or head-on collision. Vehicle stability control is another feature that can benefit an inexperienced driver who may be apt to over-correct their vehicle when maneuvering. It’s easy to determine if the vehicle you’re considering includes these features – you can even build your car with our car-buying partners Autoland or AutoSmart.
Go for safe and sane rather than fast and furious.
Avoiding sporty cars with a lot of horsepower may sound like an obvious move but many of today’s compact and mid-size cars have a surprising amount of power. Technology like Ford’s MyKey® system, which is available in models like the Focus and Fusion, allows you to set a speed limit for your teen’s car. Other safety features include a seat belt reminder that chimes and disables use of the car’s radio until the belt is engaged, and the ability to have the “low fuel” warning light kick-in earlier than normal. You might also want to consider purchasing a vehicle with Bluetooth and GPS capability that will let your teen wirelessly sync that smart phone to the car’s audio system. This useful feature limits the temptation to manually talk or text while driving. With more states cracking down on cell phone use behind the wheel, having Bluetooth and GPS in your teen’s car can reduce distracted driving and help them avoid costly tickets, and accidents.
These are just a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best car (and car loan!) for a teen driver. Be sure to research consumer safety reports for any vehicles you’re considering and determine the standard safety features you’ll need, before you start car shopping.
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