Tip of the Week
Many families with teens look for a used car for the family’s newest driver. Used cars can help a family stay on budget with a new driver in the family, but new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that many teenagers are not driving vehicles that have good crash-protection features. The research found that teenagers tend to drive older vehicles, which are less likely to have safety features such as electronic stability control and side airbags. Teenagers who drove a vehicle that the family already owned were even more likely to drive an older model. In a survey, two-thirds of parents with teens driving a car that was already in the family said the vehicle was a 2006 or older model. Another study found that among 15 to 17-year-old drivers in fatal crashes between 2008 and 2012, 29 percent were in mini cars or small cars, and 82 percent were in vehicles at least 6 years old.
In light of these reports, here are some guidelines for providing teenage drivers with the safest vehicles:
* Avoid high horsepower - Teens may want speed and power, but this temptation can overwhelm immature and inexperienced drivers. Vehicles with higher horsepower can tempt teens to exceed the speed limit or cause them to lose control on curvy and hilly roads.
* Weight and size - Vehicles that are larger and heavier provide better protection for drivers and passengers in a crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did not include any mini cars or small cars on its list of best vehicles for this reason. There are some small SUVs included because they are heavier vehicles.
* Electronic Stability Control - Computer technology is helping to make cars safer for all drivers. Be sure the car you purchase for your teen has Electronic Stability Control, which helps drivers maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads. This technology started appearing in luxury cars in the 1990s, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has implemented rules requiring this technology in all new passenger vehicles sold in the United States since 2012.
* Best crash test ratings - The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides safety ratings for the most popular cars, SUVs and minivans. Vehicles for teens should perform well in these tests and those conducted by NHTSA.
Did You Know
On Oct. 5, New York City-based auction house Guernsey’s is auctioning a once-in-a-lifetime collection from outlaw country musician Waylon Jennings at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. The centerpiece of the collection is the 1959 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle that originally belonged to Jennings’ best friend and mentor Buddy Holly. The Ariel is beautifully preserved with just over 4,000 original miles, and has not been ridden in over 20 years, serving as a symbol of a pivotal time in American music history.
- Craig Fitzgerald, BestRide.com
According to CNN Money, the states where you’ll find speed limits of 80 mph or more are:
- Texas (including the country’s fastest at 85 mph in one area)
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Auto Bits: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows
Tip of the Week