Think “Safety First” for Young Drivers

One of the most frequent questions I hear from parents is, "what kind of car should I get for my children when they reach driving age"?

Nationally, driving accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teens.

Most parents have the same thing in mind: "hand me down" vehicles. The thinking goes, "as soon as my kid turns 16, I’m going to give him my old car and I’m going to get a new one." Or, maybe a father wants to get his child a vehicle he had or wanted when he was younger, like a Volkswagen Beetle or an old BMW 2002. Those are great old cars in many ways, but there is a very serious thinking flaw happening here. When children reach driving age, they have very little experience behind the wheel. Many also have an attitude of invincibility.

Nationally, driving accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teens. The newer a vehicle is, the more safety equipment it will have. Newer features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) and stability control will even help control a vehicle so an accident doesn’t happen. Front and side air bags and engineered crumple zones all help occupants survive a crash if one happens. Side air curtains help keep people in the vehicle in a roll-over.

New vehicles also handle more precisely and are more dependable then older vehicles. It only makes sense to have your child in a newer, safer vehicle when it comes time for them to be driving. I know that cost is always a factor, but a newer car is money well spent. I always recommend consulting Consumer Reports magazine, too, when considering a vehicle purchase.

-George Rode

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