Why you should buy your teen driver a new car

It’s often deemed a part of life – having an old beat up car for your first vehicle. It is such a common story, it is widely accepted and rarely argued. Now, we will go against the beat-up-car milestone in life and talk about why a teen should get a newer car.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens. This statistic can be frightening for parents, but can be a motivating statement for putting teens in safer cars. Here are five reasons it is best for teens to be in newer cars.

  1. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

This is a life-saving feature that may be most important for teens. This feature is so effective, the government required it on every vehicle to be made starting in 2012 model years. ESC helps the driver keep control when overcorrecting, going too fast around turns, not applying brakes quickly enough and many other scenarios. Many older vehicles do not have ESC, making this reason alone enough for a newer vehicle.

  1. The old advanced safety features have become the new “basic” in newer cars.

Collision-warning systems that allow drivers to know when a vehicle is in their blind spot or too close are in many basic-level cars. Cruise control with automatic braking, back-up cameras, rear cross-traffic alerts and lane-keeping assistance are all newer safety features that could save a teen’s life.

  1. Crash testing is different now.

It might make sense to many parents to check the safety rating of a vehicle and be comfortable with its great ratings in older vehicles. What is important to understand is an older 5 star rating does not mean the same today. Today the crash testing is different, and with all of the extra safety features, the standards for safety is getting higher. As car accident fatalities decline, this is a good thing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cautions drivers that a 5-star rating before 2011 should not be compared to a 5-star rating in a newer vehicle today.

  1. Teen safety features

In an attempt to lower the deaths of teen drivers, Chevrolet and Ford have added special features for teen drivers. These features include muting the audio until the seatbelts are buckled for occupants and audio and visual warnings for when the teen is driving at higher speeds than the parent has pre-programmed. These warnings can be linked to an app that tells the parent when their teen has risky driving behavior. Being aware of a teen’s driving habits can help the parent have more control over the safety of their young driver.

  1. At the end of the day, your teen being alive is priceless.

Some families claim they cannot afford newer cars for their teens with all of the newest technology. Fortunately, there are more affordable vehicles that have many safety features that can be better than the “old, beat-up first car.” The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a list of vehicles that are recommended for teens starting at $5,000.

The newer and safer, the better, but ultimately, what is most important is that we put our teens in something as safe as possible while they maneuver through gaining good driving habits. Like any skill, driving takes practice. It is unfortunate that mistakes in this skill can cost a life, but safer vehicles help fill the gap to keep our teens from losing their second chance.


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