What Are the Safest Cars for Your Teenager in Florida?
May 9, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Car Accidents
Your teen just got their driver’s license and is in the market for a car. This is a time of great excitement for them, but as a parent, you are worried.
Your concern is well-founded; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2,800 teens ages 13 to 17 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, and over 200,000 were injured. Car accidents are a leading cause of death for teenagers.
You and your teenager can take several actions to help keep them safe on the road, including buying a safe and dependable vehicle. While a safe vehicle may not have the visual allure of a Corvette or other sports car, it can save your child’s life in the event of a crash.
General Characteristics of a Safe Vehicle
When you’re considering what vehicles are the safest for a teen driver, you will want to consider vehicles from model year 2012 or older. The newer the vehicle, though, the more safety features it is likely to have.
Some of the safety features you should look for in a car include:
- Front driver and passenger airbags, and it is desirable that the vehicle have side airbags, too
- Anti-lock brakes, which can help your teen maintain control and avoid skidding during a hard stop
- Traction control shifts power away from wheels that have lost traction
- Electronic stability control assists in preventing oversteering and understeering
Just because a vehicle is large does not mean it is the safest. A large pickup truck or SUV may provide better protection than a small coupe in the event of a crash, but it may also be more difficult to control safely.
Sedans and small to midsize SUVs can provide a good balance of protection and control for your teen. These vehicles are larger than coupes and sports cars, which do not offer as much protection in the event of a car crash as other vehicles.
However, sedans and small to midsize SUVs are not so large that they are cumbersome to maneuver.
Safe Choices to Consider for Your Teenager
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has developed a list of some of the safest cars available on the road. While the list is composed of new vehicles only, many of the makes and models listed are routinely touted as being safe and reliable year after year.
Some of the vehicles that make this list and are within the reach of most families in Florida include:
- Honda Civic four-door model
- Toyota Corolla four-door model
- Hyundai Sonata
- Honda CR-V or HR-V
- Subaru Forester
- Ford Explorer
Once you and your teen have found a vehicle you believe is appropriate, be certain to do your research before buying.
Dealerships may offer a complimentary check of the vehicle to see if any outstanding recalls need to be addressed or if the vehicle has been totaled. You may also want to have your trusted mechanic visually inspect the vehicle for obvious safety issues.
As a Parent, Your Child’s Safety Is Your Obligation
No matter how responsible or mature your teen may seem, teenage drivers are simply not as experienced as adult drivers in dealing with emergencies and hazards on the road. This is why they need and deserve vehicles that will protect them as much as possible from their own mistakes and the negligence of other drivers.
While your teen may not get the souped-up sports car they dream of, plenty of vehicles on the market do a good job of blending safety and style.