Whether your teenager is just starting to drive or you’re sending a college student off in a new ride, you may be overwhelmed by worries that could be eased somewhat by simply choosing the right car.
Here’s a checklist of some of the most important things to consider when you’re looking for a new or used car for junior drivers and some of the best car models out there for your kid.
Playing it Safe
Car crashes may be the leading cause of death among teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there are plenty of ways to help ensure that your child isn’t among those most at risk.
Before getting to details and specifications, it may seem obvious that sports cars aren’t a great idea for a teen’s starter car, but the biggest SUV on the used car lot might not be the safest either, since they’re more prone to roll over because of their high centers of gravity, according to Consumer Reports.
Beyond that, there are a number of factors to consider, and we don’t mean just checking for seatbelts and airbags. Thankfully, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety regularly offers its top safety picks based on crash-test ratings, rollover ratings and the effectiveness of seatbelts and other protective restraints.
The Institute conducts tests and rates cars based on rollovers, safety restraints and front, side and rear impacts. A number of affordable and teen-friendly cars have made it to their list, as well as MainStreet’s.