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Safe Cars For Teens

By Andrew Goodman

When a student gets his or her license, one of the many thoughts rushing through his or her head is what kind of car his or her child will drive. Parents are often asking the same thing. “What car is safe and reliable?…What car can I buy on a budget?”

Safety is a huge factor when it comes to buying a car for new drivers. One key reminder is that newest does not always mean safest. It is often felt that used cars are unsafe and new cars are the safest. While this is true in some manner, there are a few safe used cars available but it is always best to check crash test ratings before considering. The best place to check a cars crash test ratings is on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) website at www.iihs.org or on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at www.nhtsa.gov. Here, ratings for different tests such as frontal impact and side impact can be found. Bigger vehicles typically provide better protection and are recommended for teens by IIHS. A full list of cars that IIHS has recommended for teens can be found at www.iihs.org/ratings/safe-vehicles-for-teens. In an email from Joe Young, Director of Media Relations for IIHS, he stated “…we regularly issue a list of recommended used vehicles for teens. Our latest version, which went out last summer, incorporates safety ratings as well as reliability and handling ratings from Consumer Reports…Last year we also issued our first ever list of recommended new cars for teens, for those that would be shopping for a brand new 2020 model…The reason we assemble these lists is because we know teens tend to drive smaller or older cars that don’t provide the best protection in a crash. Since teens crash at a rate about 4 times that of older drivers, vehicle choice is especially important for this group.”