(Written by Alexis Thompson) Giving your teen his own car is the one of the first doors that ushers him toward independence. However, it’s not simply about buying any car. It’s also about ensuring your teen’s safety in accordance with car safety features. We all know that car accidents involving teen drivers are rampant and because of this parents need to be more discerning about the kind of car they allow their kids to drive. Here are five features you need to look for in a car for your teen driver.
- Safety features
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen drivers between ages 16-19 are four times more prone to car crash compared to older drivers. Make sure you check vehicle’s crash test information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
There are also reliability and quality ratings that you can check out. If you’re getting a brand new car then it probably has the latest safety features your teen needs. However, if you’re considering an older model or a second-hand car then the top safety features you should primarily check are airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control.
A GPS system will ensure that your teen doesn’t get lost. It has the capability of guiding your teen as he drives. It is also equipped with cameras to guide him when parking. It also recalculates his directions in case he makes a wrong turn. GPS will alleviate a lot of your fears because you know that your teen will get to the location he needs to go.
Having car insurance is a protective measure for your teen. You need warranties from your car dealer such as roadside assistance programs to ensure that in case of accidents your teen is cared for. One can never go wrong with getting car insurance. Look into the coverage of your insurance carefully. You don’t want to short change the rescue and protection available to your teen.
- Vehicle type
You have to remember that you’re buying a car for your teen and not his friends. He may plead for a sports car for image’s sake. Even if you can afford it, this type of car will just tempt your teen to test its speed limits and take roll-over risks. You have to take note that your teen is still inexperienced in the area of driving. Giving him a big car will be difficult for him to control. A safe car for your teen is a sedan. It’s not too big to drive nor too small to manoeuvre.
- Electronic stability control
Electronic stability control is basically the one that keeps the car from going out of control. This feature helps keep the car remain on its intended path during a turn to prevent skidding and sliding. This technology has a computer linked to a series of sensors that detect sideways motion, steering angle, spin, and wheel speed. For example, if your teen’s car begins to drift, this system momentarily brakes one or more wheels. Depending on the system control, it can also reduce engine power to keep the car back on its course.
As a parent, you’re primary concern is the safety of your teen. Prioritize safety over image and comfort. You might have to shell out more than what you’ve initially allotted for the car but a few hundred dollars is nothing compared to the safety that the car will give in return.
Go car hunting with your teen and educate him along the way. Model good driving while you’re together so that he will imbibe the same habits. When you couple that with a good reliable car then your teen is good to go.
About the author: Alexis Thompson is a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking.