Here at Collision Specialists, we value your business. More importantly, though, we think highly of all of our customers and their loved ones. This month, we want to talk to you about your teen drivers – specifically the safety of the vehicles they may drive regularly.
In a perfect world, we would most likely all buy our teens the newest, safest vehicles available. The reality for most of us, though, is to purchase the safest vehicle we can afford. So, when searching for a vehicle for your teen driver, keep safety as the first item on the list.
For safety, most experts agree the number one item is electronic stability control (ESC). This feature employs various sensors to prevent and recover from skids. If the sensors indicate a real or potential skid, they will activate the individual wheel brakes as needed to stabilize the direction of the vehicle. Typically, a vehicle with ESC will also have both anti-lock brakes and traction control, two useful features that also aid the driver in controlling the vehicle for swerving and sudden stops.
Airbags are another important safety feature. Both front and curtain airbags are available in most late-model cars. In the event of an accident, the more protection for the driver and passengers the better. A sudden, violent change of direction can lead to serious head injuries if one hits the side window. This is minimized or prevented entirely by curtain airbags.
Cracked windshields are a safety hazard, click here to learn more.
Tires can be another critical safety factor. Depending on where you live, rain, ice and snow may present driving hazards for your teen driver. Road conditions can present many challenges for inexperienced drivers, so good tire tread is important. Most standard factory tires will provide proper traction for both starting and stopping (as well as making emergency maneuvers).
The size and weight of the vehicle is another factor. Bigger, heavier vehicles protect better in a crash. At a minimum, most experts recommend mid-size or larger sedans. Consider, too, that while SUV’s tend to be bigger and heavier, the sedan tends to be more stable due to its lower center of gravity.
When it comes to safety, make sure your teen driver understands that, for now, less horsepower is safer. Why, they may ask. The simple answer is that more horsepower may be too much temptation to “see what this baby can do.” Excessive speed can result in loss of control for anyone, especially an inexperienced driver.
Another safety factor for teen drivers is distracted driving. Having friends in the vehicle, loud music playing or using a cell phone while driving can lead to dangerous situations. While we here at Collision Specialists are ready to fix all your dings, dents and scrapes, we sincerely hope your teen driver doesn’t bring us any business for long time!
One last thing about safety. Parents, do your due diligence. Determine the safety rating for every vehicle you may be thinking of buying for your teen driver. Consult the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to find safety ratings for vehicles you may purchase.