Your teen just started driving, what kind of car should you buy?
When selecting a vehicle for your student driver, some suggest that “big, slow and ugly” is best, while most teens dream about the fast and the furious. But what’s a happy medium that helps keep your teen safe on the road?
Beyond airbags, an anti-lock braking system and daytime running lights, the Gary Warner Insurance Agency suggests the following top five features to consider when car shopping for your student driver; keeping in mind that safety and decreased distractions are key.
- 1. Safety Ratings/Crash Test Scores: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the safest models are those with five-star ratings; indicating top performance of a vehicle in front, side, rollover and rear crash tests. As a result, midsize and large cars are highly recommended for teen drivers as they offer better crash protection compared to a compact model.
- 2. Electronic Stability Control (ESC): Assisting the driver while the vehicle is in motion, ESC uses braking and engine power to help prevent skidding and sliding (especially when turning); a particularly important aspect for teens who tend to over correct when speeding. This feature helps lessen the loss of vehicle control through a series of sensors that detect direction and movement.
- 3. Safety Tech: From blind spot warning and adaptive headlights, to lane departure warnings, front crash prevention and even a backup camera, safety technology options can significantly improve a driver’s reaction behind the wheel; helping to prevent an accident or even lessen the impact.
- 4. Engine Size: Industry experts agree that high-performance vehicles can bring out the worst in young drivers. To help discourage reckless speeding while still providing power and great fuel economy, consider a 4-cylinder engine.
- 5. Connectivity: Distracted driving poses safety risks to everyone on the road; but advances in hands-free connectivity help to reduce such factors. Bluetooth and voice text integration are a good combination, as well as a GPS (Global Positioning System) for easy navigation. Some models even feature devices that block incoming text messages while a vehicle is in motion.
Many of these features can help you save money on your California Car Insurance with discounts to your policy.
There are many ways to prepare your teen for what lies ahead. Proper training and practice can go a long way.
I’ve included many links here with useful information about car safety, recommendations, car insurance and teen driving safety.
We want you safe and healthy in 2016!