The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has new recommendations for the safest cars for teen drivers. The stereotype of a car for a teen driver is a loud, muscle car, while the common reality may be an inexpensive, small used car. However, teen drivers are among the most risky and most likely to get into an accident. Therefore, recent advice has been for teens to get recent model cars with as many safety features as you can. Now the IIHS has even more specific recommendations.
- High horsepower and young drivers don’t mix. Teens may be tempted to test the limits of a powerful engine. Vehicles that come only with powerful engines have been left off the lists, but some recommended models have high-horsepower versions. Stick with the base engine.
- Bigger, heavier vehicles are safer. There are no minicars or small cars on the lists. Small SUVs are OK; they weigh about the same as a midsize car.
- Electronic stability control is an essential feature. This technology, which cuts single-vehicle fatal crash risk nearly in half, has been required on new vehicles since the 2012 model year. It helps a driver maintain control on curves and slippery roads. All listed vehicles have the feature standard.
- Beyond those basics, parents should seek out a vehicle with the highest crash test ratings they can afford.
The IIHS has recommended used cars that are safest for teen drivers and none are small cars. See their latest list: latest update
Note that it includes 49 “best choices,” starting under $20,000, and 82 “good choices,” starting under $10,000.
See their report on the safest cars for teen drivers: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/iihs-tightens-criteria-for-recommended-used-vehicles-for-teens