Most teens look forward to being old enough to drive, taking the drivers’ test and enjoying the freedom that driving represents. Equally as exciting is the thought of getting their first car to drive. Parents often are faced with the dilemma of what kind of car their teen should drive to keep them safe from injury when involved in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida.
Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers understand the devastation a parent can go through when a child is severely injured or killed in a car accident. Finding the right car becomes a priority once your teen has a license. The line becomes divided when your teen wants a sports car to tool around in with their friends while you want a safe, reliable and affordable car for them to drive.
An article in the Dover Post suggests finding a happy medium when it comes to the right car for your teen to drive. The first step is sitting down with them to discuss what you each want in the car. The discussion should entail what cars you each like and what specific things you like about them. Finding a good compromise will make car shopping a much more enjoyable experience.
Parents and teens should both agree that safety is a top priority in car choice, considering drivers ages 16-19 are four times more likely to crash than an older driver with more experience. Doing research on crash ratings and other safety features is a good place to start for each model (new or used) that you may be interested in. Manufacturers didn’t start putting airbags in cars until the late 1980’s. Air bags can decrease the risk of injury in a crash, especially side impact airbags — so finding a newer model is a safer option. Another quality to consider is finding a car with stability control. The sensors can detect when a car is headed off the intended path. Any wayward detection causes the engine’s power to slow or a braking system to activate.
A final thought when buying a used car is to make sure the tires are relatively new. Treads on tires help the car grip the road and maintain control in different kinds of weather conditions. Teens lack driving experience and tend to panic in adverse conditions, so anything that helps maintain control can be an asset when facing a stressful driving situation.
Large pickups, SUV’s and sports cars should not be a primary choice for young and inexperienced drivers. Large vehicles have a higher center of gravity, causing them to roll over in crashes. Sports cars tend to make young drivers want to drive too fast and don’t typically fare well in accident ratings.
Visit Consumer Reports for a full list of recommended vehicles proven to be more appropriate for teen drivers.
If you or someone you love have been injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach, Miami, Port St. Lucie, or Fort Lauderdale, contact the injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-529-2368.