Selecting the first car your teen will drive can be stressful for many reasons. You may be searching for a vehicle that is affordable and fuel efficient.

While style may be a secondary concern, you may also want to find a car that he or she will enjoy driving. The most important factors that you may be searching for relate to reliability and safety. After all, you are going to rely on this vehicle to get your child from point A to point B on a regular basis. If you are looking for the safest vehicles for teen drivers, there are a few points to consider.

A High Safety Rating
Many parents will choose an older model of vehicle for their kids to drive, but it is important to note that there have been many innovations in vehicle safety features in recent years. Newer models of vehicles available today are loaded with these features, and many have them in the standard or base trim package. This includes everything from superior airbags and a rear view camera to a collision warning system and post-collision assistance. Because of this, many of today’s models rank higher than older models in the area of safety. Even if you do choose an older vehicle for your child, keep in mind that safety ratings are available online for you to research.

Here are some safety features to consider when shopping for your teens car.

  • Reverse backup senors
  • Backup camera
  • Tire pressure monitoring systems
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Seat belts
  • Airbags
  • Laminated windshields
  • Crumple zones

How Reliability Impacts Safety
You may think about safety and reliability as two separate things, but they actually go hand in hand. An unreliable vehicle is one that breaks down often. Reliability ratings are based on how frequently other owners of that make and model have taken their vehicle in for repairs over the years. Fewer repair needs generate a higher rating in the area of reliability. When a vehicle breaks down frequently, it is more likely to expose a driver to unsafe driving situations or to be stranded at the side of the road. Think about your child standing on the edge of a highway at night with a vehicle that is having engine trouble. Consider how your teen would react if an engine overheated or if the car would not start. These can indeed be safety situations as well as repair issues. Because of this, you should consider reviewing reliability ratings as you select a safe vehicle for your teen to drive.

A Word About Power and Performance
Power and performance also play a role in safety for young drivers. Insurance companies review statistics of collisions for young drivers. From a statistical standpoint, young drivers who drive cars with more powerful engines are more likely to be involved in a collision. Young drivers may already be more aggressive behind the wheel, and they may lack the experience to know how to avoid dangerous situations or how to handle them quickly to avoid an accident. The combination of a lack of experience behind the wheel coupled with a vehicle with a fast rate of acceleration and zippy maneuverability may be an unsafe combination.

As you can see, there are several factors at play that need to be considered together when you are selecting the right vehicle for your teen driver. There are numerous makes and models that have been made over the years, including many that may now be within your price range. It is important for you t consider each of these factors carefully as you pick out a vehicle that is right for your teen. While it can take time and effort to find the right vehicle, you may be able to rest easy knowing that your teen is driving a safer car thanks to your efforts.

Safety Trends
Despite all these technological advances, about 40,000 people a year die in the United States due to automobile collisions. As our population increases and our roads become more dense with cars, teaching safe driving habits is the most efficient method to keep your child safe.

For a complete list of the highest rated vehicles on safety. Visit the IIHS Top Safety Picsks