What are the Safest Cars for Your Teenager?

It can be a nerve-racking and stressful time when your teenager finally gets their license and is able to drive on their own. For many parents, the thought of releasing them into the world keeps them up at night. What if they get in a car accident? What if they get hurt?

Obviously, one way many parents try to protect their teenage drivers is by putting them behind the wheel of a car that is as safe as possible. 

Cars that have plenty of airbags, automated safety technologies, and quick braking capabilities are all good choices when looking for a car for your teen. But are there any other technologies to consider? And what resources can help parents find cars that are safe for their teens to drive?

Consider Cars With Settings for Teen Drivers

Some cars, for example, those produced by the likes of Chevrolet, GMC, and others have built-in settings that can limit the capability of the vehicle when a teenage driver is using it. These “Teen Driver” settings allow parents to predetermine how loud the radio can go when your teen is driving. It can also turn off the audio in the car until the teen puts their seat belt on. 

Many Teen Driver systems can be programmed to give speed limit reminders if your teen is driving too fast. Finally, some of these systems can produce driving reports so you can talk to your teen about how they were driving. With them knowing you are capable of seeing their driving habits in a report, your teen might be more likely to make better choices in the first place.

The downside of Teen Driver technologies is that they are still relatively new and most likely only offered on higher trims and more recent models. This means that the price tag for a car that comes equipped with Teen Driver might be too high for the average family seeking a car for their teenager.

If that is the case for your family, there are still plenty of other vehicles that can be a solid choice.

Safe Used Vehicles for Teenage Drivers

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in partnership with Consumer Reports has put together a list of some of the safest used vehicles for teens. These vehicles range in price from the very reasonable $5,000 up to $20,000. 

The criteria the list considers include factors like strength of the exterior of the vehicle, reliability scores, and braking distances. The list is also broken down into two categories: best choices and good choices. While the best choices might be the safer vehicles, they generally come with higher price tags.

If you do consult the list when looking for a vehicle for your teen, keep in mind that each model can be quite specific. In some cases, you have to get the right model, year, and trim in order to reap the safety benefits. Finally, the list reminds consumers to research if there have been any recalls associated with the vehicles on the list.

Some of the cars on the best choice list include:

  • Mazda 3, 2014 or newer
  • Subaru Outback, 2013 or newer
  • Volkswagen Jetta, 2016-2018 
  • GMC Terrain, 2014, 2016, or newer

All of the above vehicles on the best choice list can typically be found for under $10,000. Of course, prices vary depending on the mileage of the car and whether or not it has been in an accident. Some of the vehicles found on the good choice list include:

  • Toyota Corolla, 2012 or newer
  • Honda Accord,  2012
  • Ford Taurus, 2011-2015
  • Hyundai Tucson, 2011-2015

These vehicles are typically going to be anywhere from $2000-$5000 cheaper than the cars found on the best choice list. Though they might not be quite as safe as those on the best choice list, they do still offer considerable safety.

What If Your Teen is in an Accident?

If your teenager is in an accident, it can be one of the most difficult and even traumatic experiences imaginable. What’s worse is that in some cases, other drivers and insurance companies representing those involved in the accident might try to blame your teenager for the accident because they have less experience behind the wheel. This can happen even when your teenager did nothing wrong.

Being blamed for an accident can have significant implications and can reduce the amount of compensation an injured car accident victim can receive. In some cases, it could even bar recovery altogether.

If your teenager has been in an accident, contact a qualified Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer will defend your teenager and fight to make sure they receive the money they deserve.