When it comes to teen driver safety the most important thing is to provide a teen driver with a safe and reliable automobile. Small old cars present dangers to teen drivers, especially when the car is considered compact. According to USA Today among those teen drivers ages 15 to 17 who were killed in a car crash in 2008 through 2012, nearly 50 percent were driving cars more than 11 years old. One-third of those killed were driving small cars. The article further states that the Fatality Analysis Reporting System analysis found that 82 percent of teens who died in car wrecks were driving vehicles greater than 6 years old. The best way to prevent the statistics that indicate that old cars present dangers to teen drivers is to avoid placing your teen behind the wheel of such a vehicle.
Compact Cars Increase Risk in Accident
A small car that is built to compact on impact, such as Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas, are referred to as compact cars. The idea is that if these cars are involved in a collision they will absorb all of the force of the impact. This is great in theory for the driver or passenger as they will not be as likely to be injured in a collision. However, in the instance of a serious accident involving rollovers, head-on collisions or T-boning, the compact car is more likely to be destroyed beyond recognition. This leaves those inside the car unprotected and at increased risk of injury during a serious accident.
Small Cars Less Visible on Roads
SUVs, tractor-trailer trucks and vans all overpower small, compact cars on the roadways. These larger vehicles are putting smaller cars in harm’s way by simply overlooking them when passing, entering or exiting a road. Smaller cars, particularly those in silver, gray or white, can be nearly impossible to see when the sun is bright or at dusk. For teen drivers having a smaller car automatically increases their risk of being involved in an accident.
Old Cars Less Equipped for Safety
Nowadays new cars come fully equipped with all sorts of safety features, such as airbags, backup monitors, GPS systems, anti-lock brakes, seat belts and LED head lamps. Older cars lack these features, and the process of updating an older car to include such features would be cost prohibitive. Rather than giving your teen that old car that everyone in the family since the 1980s has driven while a teen driver, supply your teenager with a car that insures their safety. Consumer Reports notes the top cars for teens should include the following safety features:
- Stability control
- Acceleration to 60 mph in 8 to 11 seconds
Avoid vehicles that seat more than 5 people as this encourages teens to have friends in the car. If you can afford it purchase or lease a late model vehicle for your teen. Teen safety is a lifesaver. Don’t let your teen get behind the wheel of an old, death trap.