The roads are dangerous places for new drivers. As we mentioned previously, California Highway Patrol officers have noted that the statewide death toll led to the loss of 2,835 lives while operating a vehicle. Add to this the 159,115 injury accidents that motorists were involved in, and it is no small wonder that parents of teens worry about the crash potential when handing junior the keys to a car.
The Car-buying Dilemma
California parents want to keep freshly minted teen drivers safe but typically cannot afford to buy the latest model car with the top safety rating for their kids. Young drivers, too, contribute to the dilemma. Desiring to drive cars that have pizzazz and are cool, they may reject grandma’s used old Volvo for a sporty ride that has too few safety features and too much horsepower.
Motor Vehicle Crash Attorneys Speak up about Vehicle Choice
We have been there ourselves. As young, new drivers, we wanted the nice wheels with the cool paint job. Safety features and crumple zones did not mean anything to us. Now, as professionals in the legal field who deal with motorcycle, truck, and car accident victims, we see the helplessness, frustration, pain, and loss that come when someone does not pay attention for even a split second. Your teen may get caught up in an accident that was not her or his fault. Having a car that protects the driver, without draining the family budget, is a must have.
While researching the available information, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was an invaluable resource. They evaluated some used, older-model vehicles and set three parameters.
- Vehicle weight. Heavier cars with lower horsepower are better suited for teen drivers and protect them better during a crash.
- Safety ratings. When the cars were new, their safety rating should have been stellar. If the vehicle did not perform well after rolling off the assembly line, its safety most likely does not increase with age.
- ESC. Electronic stability control is a feature that experts put on par with the risk reduction provided by seat belts.
The good news is that this level of technology, which you may find even in older model cars going back to 2007, can protect your teen while on the road. But if a crash does happen, contact us to learn how to help protect her or his legal rights.