Highway safety group out with list of cars that can help keep teens safe
MIAMI - Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer driving season and an increase in accidents on the road. Teenage drivers are at especially high risk. The Centers for Disease Control says teenagers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident compared to older drivers.
When Pat Georgides's 16-year-old daughter started driving he had a backup camera and parking sensors installed on her 2006 vehicle.
"Being a first-year driver, you never know what's going to happen, their lack of experience is always an issue," Georgides says.
Experts say parents looking to buy a car for a teenager should focus on safety features.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports teamed up to create a list of recommended vehicles. There are 62 cars, from a used KIA Soul for $6,600 to a new Lexus NX SUV for almost $40,000. All the vehicles protected drivers during crash tests, performed well in braking tests, and are equipped with electronic stability control, which can prevent an accident.
"We tried to come up with a list that met a pretty high level of safety, reliability, and we tried to pick vehicles that were reasonably affordable," says IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby.
The new cars on the list also received a good rating because the controls are easy to use.
"Cars have gotten so technologically complicated that we don't want ones with difficult controls that may distract a young driver from the task at hand of driving," says Jennifer Stockburger from Consumer Reports.
Parents searching for a car are finding higher prices, which exploded during the pandemic. But experts say spending extra for a safe vehicle is money well spent.
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