Why the Age and Size of your Teen’s Car could Save their Life in an Auto Accident

“A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that nearly half of drivers between the age of fifteen and seventeen who were killed in an auto accident were driving a car that was at least eleven years old, and almost a third of those killed were in small cars. Teen drivers have crash rates three times higher than drivers 20 years of age and up, due to immature behavior leading to speeding, reckless driving, and distracted driving.”

Understandably, many parents are less likely to give their teen driver a brand new car in fear that they will get into a fender-bender, rear-end another car, or some smaller type of accident. High gas prices have also made larger cars less appealing to young drivers and their parents. While the price of the vehicle and the amount of money it takes to operate it are all legitimate concerns when selecting a car, experts advise that people take great care to find a car that provides the greatest safety first and foremost. Larger, newer, and cars with the best crash-test ratings, are more likely to result in non-fatal accidents according to USA Today.

Most older cars are not equipped with front or side airbags, nagging safety belt warning beepers, automatic headlights, and anti-lock breaks. Anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from locking up and sliding when the breaks are hit quickly, while automatic running headlights come on when sensors don’t detect enough light, and front and side airbags protect against head-on and side collisions. Many new cars are designed to act as an experienced driver would by anticipating any upcoming and surrounding dangers. Although going with a newer car may seem like a better, and more obvious choice, it is important to remember that not all safety features come standard in basic model cars, (anti-lock brakes are still not standard on all cars), and their size can also greatly affect their safety.

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photo credit: via photopin (license)

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