In order to prepare a new teen driver for the risks of driving on the road, many parents turn to driver’s education courses, hours of supervised practice, and even additional house rules, all in order to provide for the safety of the child behind the wheel. After all, the National Highway Traffic Safety Information (NHTSA) has published a host of reports highlighting driver inexperience as a leading cause of crashes leading to injury.
A July article in the New York Times highlights a recent study though that sheds new light on the statistics regarding teen crashes that result in injury or death. The study, published by the Highway Loss Data Institute at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, points to the fact that above all, it may in fact be the type of car that the teen is driving that ultimately contributes to an unsafe atmosphere.
Too Many Teens Driving Unsafe Cars
The report, titled “Vehicle Choice Can Exacerbate Teen Drivers’ Crash Risk,” uses statistics to show that the type of cars that teens are driving may actually be contributing to injuries and deaths in the event of an accident. The report claims that, based on information gathered through a national telephone survey of 500 parents of teen drivers, 28 percent of participants stated that they purchased a minicar or small car for their teen driver, considered to be one of the most dangerous types of vehicle. Additionally, 57 percent of parents claimed that they purchased a used car for their teen, and two-thirds of that amount provided that the used car was from the year 2006 or earlier.
What the Numbers Really Mean
Without any supporting evidence, these numbers could just show that teenagers are driving older, more worn cars. But according to the IIHS, older cars, especially those purchased before the year 2006, generally lack key safety features, such as side airbags and electronic stability control (ESC). Some of the missing safety features could help prevent injuries in the event of a crash, while others could help the teen avoid a wreck in the first place.
With this, the report also points out that teens driving minicars and small cars are at a higher risk of injury due to those cars being smaller and lighter, offering less protection than a larger, heavier model, such as an SUV or minivan.
Help Your Teen on the Road
In light of this new information, it is imperative that you provide your teen with a safe vehicle if they are just starting out on the road. When purchasing a vehicle, opt for extra safety features that could help prevent an accident. And don’t go back further than 2006; an older car may be easier on the wallet, but may not offer the same level of protection and safety features of a late-model vehicle.
In the unfortunate event that your teen is involved in a wreck, make sure that you educate your teen on the proper steps following an accident and don’t hesitate to contact Tate Law Offices, P.C., today by calling 888-769-1086 in the event of injury.