The 4 Worst Types of Cars for Teen Drivers
When we consider car accidents among teen drivers, many culprits may come to mind—smartphones and social media apps have contributed to the number of distracted driving incidents, and, despite aggressive awareness campaigns, thousands of crashes are caused by young intoxicated drivers in the United States each year.
We as parents—and a society—need to take note of some staggering statistics about new drivers: While the overall number of fatal crashes dropped 7 percent in 2015, the number of deadly car crashes involving teens increased by 10 percent. That's the first upswing in a decade.
While driving experience and good decision making on the road have much to do with a teen's risk of being in a serious car accident, so does the type of vehicle they are driving.
If you are in the market for a vehicle for your novice driver, make sure to steer clear of these four worst types of vehicles for teens:
- Vehicles with too much power. New drivers are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations, and lack the experience to know what to do when things go wrong on the road—which is precisely why teens don't need high-powered engines. The higher the horsepower, the higher the accident risk for your teenage driver. If you're not convinced yet, then consider this: The Highway Loss Data Institute reports that there were more insurance claims relating to teens driving mid-size sports cars than any other type of vehicle.
- Older-model cars that lack essential safety features. We get it: When it comes to older-model vehicles, the price is often right. Unfortunately, sometimes the safety features are less than stellar. For example, all vehicles manufactured since 2012 have a feature called Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC is technology that helps a driver maintain control of his vehicle by detecting loss of traction, and helping to reduce it. Because of how useful ESC technology is in reducing the likelihood of crashes, it is recommended that teens only drive vehicles equipped with the tool.
- Smaller cars with poor safety ratings. Price point is important, and some smaller vehicles often come with a smaller sales tag—especially if you are buying a used car. Before you go shopping for one of these models, know that not all economy cars are created equal. Some smaller cars are awarded top safety awards (the Scion, the Ford Focus, the Chevrolet Cruz, and Dodge Dart, for example). Some cars in that class are widely available second-hand—like the Chevy Aveo—but are consistently ranked below-average for safety.
- Cars prone to flipping over. When we think of cars for our teens, we sometimes believe that bigger is better. While larger, heavier vehicles often offer more traction and stability, some are also prone to flipping over. Given the right circumstances, it is true that any car could flip over. However, vehicles that are tall and narrow (think large SUVs, minivans, and some Jeep models, like the Wranger) have the greatest chances of that happening.
Please make your selection with care. Our car accident injury attorneys have represented people injured in crashes for more than 30 years, and some of the most tragic involved young drivers.
We hope you never need to call us after an accident. But if you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a car crash, don't hesitate to contact us—we're here to help 24/7.
Just give us a call and we’ll give you a free case review. You have nothing to lose, because with Edgar Snyder & Associates, there's never a fee unless we get money for you.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute