Many teenagers are driving cars with low safety technology and without the latest crash protection. According the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) , about 80 percent of teen cars are bought used, and two-thirds of these vehicles are models older than 2006. Unfortunately, these cars don’t have today’s safety standard features including electronic stability control (ESC) and side airbags. Below are the top four cars with excellent safety criteria and with a price range of $5,000 to $20,000 to meet a teen’s budget.
A 2012 or later model of the Toyota Prius has an overall four star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Some safety features include driver, passenger, rear and side air bags, 4-wheel ABS, ESC, child safety locks, 4-wheel disc brakes, daytime running lights, brake assist and traction controls. The car also has an excellent fuel economy, a large cargo area and a spacious back seat.
Ford Fusions from April 2010 or later have a five star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. The car includes safety features such as driver, passenger, side head, side and rear body air bags, 4-wheel disc brakes, daytime running lights, traction control, 4-wheel ABS, ESC, child safety locks and an emergency trunk release. Additionally, many models feature an all-wheel drive and the car has an excellent reliability score.
A Volkswagon Jetta from 2009 or later has a 4 star rating from NHTSA. The car features driver, passenger, rear head and body, side head and side air bags. Additionally, it has a passenger air bag on and off switch, 4-wheel disc brakes, ESC, child safety locks, traction control, 4-wheel ABS, brake assist, daytime running lights, integrated turn signal mirrors and an emergency trunk release. The car also has plenty of engine power and a great interior quality.
A 2012 or later Kia Optima has a five star overall rating. It comes with driver, side head, side, passenger and rear head air bags. Other features include 4-wheel disk brakes, ESC, integrated turn signal mirrors, 4-wheel ABS, brake assist, child safety locks and traction control. Some other features include a long warranty coverage and a powerful engine.
When choosing a car for a young driver, it’s crucial that parents stay away from vehicles with high horsepower. These vehicles could tempt teens to speed. Additionally, teens fare better in bigger, heavier vehicles than small cars during accidents. Cars with ESC are also necessary because they help drivers maintain control during curves and slippery roads. According to the IIHS, ESC features reduce the risks of fatalities in car accidents as much as seat belts do. Parents should always choose a car for their teen that has a four to five star rating from the NHTSA. Choosing a safe vehicle is almost as important as good driving skills. Developing these skills at a school like North Shore Driving School, a company that provides Burnaby driving lessons, has been proven to help teens feel more comfortable behind the wheel.