Having a kid can be such a rewarding experience, but it equally comes with the responsibility to provide for them and keep them safe. One really challenging part, is when they reach the developmental stage where you have to entrust them with a car. How do you ensure your teen is safe on the road? What kind of vehicle should you get them to maximize their safety while driving? Here are some guidelines to help ease your concerns and minimize the uncertainties.
Buy a car with the best possible safety rating
Different vehicles have different crash test and other safety ratings based on various safety considerations. One of your main car buying strategies should be to look for a top rated vehicle. Cars with 4 to 5 stars from ANCAP should be preferred over those that receive lower ratings when buying a vehicle for your teen son or daughter. A good rating may directly translate to your kid’s safety in the event of a crash.
Go for the large, heavier cars
The biggest argument against larger, heavier vehicles is their poor fuel economy. However, since this is about your child’s safety, it is best to take the compromise and go for a big, heavy car. Such vehicles provide far more protection in the undesired event of an accident, and perform better in crash tests overall. Evidence also suggests that teen drivers are much less likely to crash these large vehicles.
On the contrary, smaller sports cars with their powerful engines can be dangerously tempting for youngsters. For your teen, you should avoid sports cars by all means; their fast speeds are simply harder to avoid and the cars generally have higher accident rates on record.
Buy newer car models rather than older ones
Newer cars come with the added advantage of more modern safety features including automatic emergency braking, or AEB; and forward-collision warning, or FCW. Better safety features such as advanced air bags that include side impact additions tend to reduce injuries in the event of a crash.
Features such as anti-lock braking systems which provide the much-needed directional control in case of emergency braking, and electronic stability control, or ESC; which is known to reduce rollover accidents by helping drivers maintain control of the vehicle on slippery roads and curves are exclusive to the latest car models. These are important features that can help keep your teen driver safe.
Like most parents, you probably will wonder whether to buy a new or used car. Well, this should be the least of your worries. If you can get these safety features in a new or used car, any other consideration should be secondary – including the shape and color of the vehicle. Your teenager needs a car, and a safe one for that matter. So be sure to have a mechanic inspect the vehicle if it is a used one or one you’re handing over to the kid to ascertain that it is in perfect shape and that all the safety features are working properly. Otherwise, head over to a dealership and buy your teen a brand new car with all the necessary safety features in place.