New Driver In The House? We’ve Got 5 of the Safest Cars for Teens


So your kid is a Junior in high school, gets decent grades, and has just been hired on at “America’s best first job” to flip burgers and super-size fries. Now they need a ride to get from home to the Golden Arches and back. Does the idea of your teenage son or daughter having their own car scare the hell out of you? Are you worried about tracking down options for some of the safest cars for teens?

Don’t worry, because you’re not alone, and your fears are well founded. Teenage drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto accident than all other drivers. According to the Centers for Disease and Control & Prevention, 963,000 teens are involved in motor vehicle accidents each year. 383,000 of those accidents result in injuries, and another 2,865 involve fatalities. These numbers can be scary for parents of new drivers, which is why we’re looking at some of the safest cars for teens.

Teenagers Lack Driving Experience

Why are teenagers so susceptible to car accidents? It can be summed up as inexperience with driving, and more importantly, juvenile judgement. Are you interested in knowing the top five reasons teenagers and young drivers are involved in car accidents? Good news: the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has compiled this simple list:

  1. Driver Inexperience. This is a no-brainer. It takes a lot of on-the-job training to become competent while driving at night, in the rain, on interstates, in congested parking lots, and yes, even in fast food drive-thru lanes. With time and practice, your teenager will become more confident while driving, and improve.
  2. Distracted Driving. All age groups are susceptible to this, but teenagers seem to have their phones surgically implanted in their hands. Cell phone use accounts for 12% of all teen accidents. Studies show that the reaction times of teenagers are about equal to that of drivers aged 70 and older when using their phone. Always remind your teenagers to keep their eyes on the road.
  3. Intoxicated Driving. Everyone knows not to mix alcohol and driving, but liquor has an exaggerated effect on teens. Their lack of driving experience and their willingness to participate in dangerous behavior, including being a passenger in an intoxicated person’s vehicle, amplify the risk.
  4. Reckless Driving. The National Young Driver Survey (NYDS) found that 21% of car accidents involving teenagers happen due to the teenage driver traveling too fast for road conditions. More than half of teenage fatal motor vehicle accidents are a result of speeding.
  5. Teenage Passengers. This will be a source of many family arguments. Teenagers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident when there are two or more teenage passengers. Typical accidents include running off the road, rear ending the car in front, and being struck while attempting a left turn.
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