If your teen is getting ready to hit the road on their own soon, you might be thinking about getting them their own car. If you’re thinking of handing down the keys to your old vehicle, you’ll want to reconsider.
A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that most American teens involved in fatal car crashes were driving older vehicles that were not equipped to protect them. The IIHS studied motor vehicle accidents between 2008 and 2012 that involved teens. Nearly half of the teens were driving a vehicle that was more than ten years old. Furthermore, 80 percent of teen drivers involved in the fatal collisions were driving a vehicle that was at least six years old.
The IIHS also noted that the vehicles that were between six and ten years old were less likely to have advanced safety systems. Electronic stability control is a safety feature proven to save lives, but until 2003 it was mostly limited to luxury vehicles which means it probably will not be found in a teen drivers car.
Safety systems such as side curtain airbags, back-up cameras and blind-spot detection are more likely to be found in modern vehicles and less likely to be included in a vehicle you are choosing for your teenager.
Another interesting revelation of the study was that teens who were killed in car crashes were much more likely to be driving a smaller car than a middle-aged driver. These smaller vehicles offer less protection for teens, the age demographic that is most likely to be involved in a car crash.
Since most parents look for a used car when shopping for their teen, the IIHS recommends also looking into ones that have desirable safety features. Depending on the make and model, the IIHS recommends four-cylinder vehicles released after 2008. Although teens are likely to want a fast and furious car, speeding is one of the leading causes of teen driving accidents so you’ll need to put the brakes on that option.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our car accident lawyers understand that most motor vehicle accidents are the result of a negligent driver. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a careless driver, we can help you get the justice you deserve.