good first cars

Teen Drivers: What is a Good First Car?

I still remember getting my first car. A Buick. A big, sturdy, blue Buick. I loved that car. While you’d think I’d want a “cooler” vehicle (hey, there’s a reason Buick’s latest ad campaign centered around not your father’s Buick), I was perfectly happy with my Century because it was big and sturdy. I felt safe. It was a good first car.

Safety and teenagers is an important topic.

We here at RightTurn.com are always talking teen driving because it’s a dangerous time. Did you know that the crash rates for teen drivers are three times higher than those of drivers 20 years and older per mile driven? So what can you do to help those odds? It starts with conversations — but we all remember what it was like to be a teen.

So let’s talk actual vehicles.

Edmunds.com recently rated the 10 Best Cars for Teen Drivers, which is a great place to start. Obviously size is a consideration but they caution against presuming SUVs are safer because not only can they be a challenge to drive for teens but they also come with a higher rollover risk.

Midsize sedans seem to be the recommended choice for teen drivers.

Their Top 10 list:

  • 2016 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2016 Chrysler 200
  • 2016 Ford Fusion
  • 2016 Honda Accord
  • 2016 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2016 Kia Optima
  • 2016 Mazda 6
  • 2016 Subaru Impreza
  • 2016 Toyota Camry
  • 2016 Volkswagen Jetta

Safety ratings can help you decide how various vehicles did in safety tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ratings cover how well a vehicle protects those in the vehicle in a crash and the technology that may decrease the severity of a crash or even prevent one all together. They also have a list of safe vehicles for teens plus some general guidelines.

I’d say we are pretty lucky to have the technology we do today. From rearview cameras (I love mine!) to multiple airbags, vehicles are safer today than ever before. For new drivers, these features are invaluable. Speaking of invaluable safety vehicles…

…let’s talk tires.

Whatever vehicle your teenager drives, you’ll want to ensure it has the right tires. A search here at RightTurn.com shows you the original equipment tires, or the ones your vehicle originally came with. Remember that tires are vital to driving more safely on wet roads. More tread means more grip. And let’s face it, one of the biggest threats to teens when driving are distractions which means they’ll need all the stopping power they can get. While tires are not a substitute for driving awareness, they can affect how soon you’ll stop on a wet road.

So what was your first car? Would you buy the same or similar for your teen driver?

Tell me in the comments below!