When it comes to choosing the right car for your newly licensed teen, extreme precaution is warranted. As a teen, life changes rapidly, and the patience and attention required to be safe on the road doesn’t always come naturally. Aside from training your teen to be safe on the road (CELL PHONE IN THE GLOVEBOX IF THE CAR IS IN GEAR!), selecting the right car for your inexperienced driver will be important. Here are a couple things to remember while test driving a first car.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Although you would love to protect your child in a bulletproof urban assault vehicle, you’ll have to settle for something a little more practical. Parents often pick out a huge car for their new drivers because of the perceived reduced risk of injury in a crash. Although this might be true for some larger cars, large cars often lack visibility. When you are taking a test drive with your teen, make sure he/she (and you) can see clearly out of all areas of the car, including common blind spots.
If you do choose a larger vehicle, we recommend that you consider some safety features, which have come a long way in the last few years. For example, Acura’s collision avoidance system allows the car to detect a front end collision if you are not paying attention. This system first detects the proximity of a possible collision and either warns the driver or takes action on its own and brakes for you. A handful of brands have included similar features in premium packages.
Today’s cars are equipped with maintenance warning systems. Look for a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Tire pressure plays a huge factor in driving and is often neglected because people do not know how to check their tire pressure. To prevent your teen from crashing because of a tire blowout, the TPMS does the checking for you and warns you when it is time to fill up.
Click here for the complete list of recommended used vehicles for teens by IIHS. Then test drive with TRED and we’ll help you hunt down the perfect choice for your new driver!