A Parent’s Guide to Choosing a Safe Car for a Teen Driver
Your teen has graduated from a Learner’s License to an Intermediate License and is ready to hit the road with or without you in the passenger seat. In addition to discussions about the dangers of drinking and driving and other driving hazards, you’ll need to carefully consider which vehicle will be safest for the newest driver in your family.
While your child may clamor for a “Fast and Furious”-worthy ride, opt for a vehicle with a high safety rating, reasonable gas mileage and a reliable engine. As concerned parents and personal injury attorneys in Florida, we pay special attention to what automotive safety experts say about safe teen driving. Below are a few guidelines to selecting a safe car for a new driver.
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According to AAA, car accidents are responsible for more annual teen deaths than any other cause. A safe and reliable vehicle may help prevent accidents or protect a young driver in case of collision.
Look for features like:
- antilock braking system (especially important in South Florida, where heavy summer rains can cause dangerous road conditions);
- dual-side airbags (note that many newer vehicles also include side-impact airbags)
- daytime running lights (these increase a vehicle’s visibility in daytime driving situations); and
- adjustable head restraints (ensure head restraints can be properly adjusted and locked to accommodate your teen driver’s height).
Other safety features, such as electronic stability control and additional controls, may be available in newer vehicles.
The last thing you want as a parent is for your child to be stranded on the side of I-95 with a disabled vehicle.
When purchasing a new or used vehicle, take steps to ensure it will be a reliable mode of transport for years to come:
- do your homework – use CARFAX or similar services to learn about a used vehicle’s crash-repair history, and research specific models’ safety features for comparison;
- skip a car with lots of miles – a car with high mileage may be a cheaper option, but high mileage – especially when compared against its age – may signal excessive wear and tear; and
- get a warranty – opt for a vehicle with a warranty, or purchase an extended warranty.
Teach your child about proper automotive maintenance to keep the car in good working order. Make sure he or she knows how to change a tire so he or she can get the car home or to a repair shop. Instill the importance of regular maintenance like oil changes to keep the car running. Roadside service companies can also be helpful in case of a breakdown.
Was your teen driver recently injured in an auto accident? Contact us at Chalik & Chalik to learn about your family’s rights to recover compensation from insurance or file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Call (954) 476-1000 or contact us online to set up an appointment.