When your teenager turns 16-years-old, one of their immediate concerns is getting that next big piece of freedom that comes with a driver’s license: their first car.  As a parent, you may be concerned about what car to get them.  An article from the Victoria Advocate may give you the information you need to make an educated choice for your teenage driver’s first car and prevent car accidents.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more wrongful deaths of young people are caused by teenage drivers more than anything else in the United States.  The agency said that 16 is the most dangerous age, and in 2007, 15- to 20-year-olds accounted for 19 percent of all fatal car accidents.

Buying a teenage driver’s first car? Grab some information before making a decision.

Parents buying a teenage driver’s first car have a tough decision to make.  Sedan or sport-utility vehicle?  Four cylinders or six?  New or used?  With a little homework, you can make sure your teen drives around safely in a vehicle that will keep them safe from personal injuries should they get in a wreck.

First, think of some things before you buy:

  1. What level is your child’s maturity and temperament?  Is your teenage driver responsible enough to drive safely?
  2. Decide who is going to pay for it.  Also figure out who is going to pay for gas, car insurance (which is necessary in all states), maintenance and possible parking costs.
  3. Teenage drivers need to enroll in driving school.  Whether it’s at a private facility or in school, make sure the school teaching your child is accredited and licensed by the state DMV.
  4. How do you drive?  That’s probably an indication of how your teen will.  They pick up all of your driving habits — good and bad.

Now that you have some indication of what kind of driver you may be dealing with, it’s time to figure out what your teenager’s first car will be.  Experts like AAA and Consumer Reports recommend a passenger car as the first car.  Sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks are a bad idea because they have rollover accident risks.  Sports cars are also a bad idea because newly-minted drivers sometime can’t resist their temptation to test their performance in speed.

Check out the details of the car as well.  You can go online at the IIHS or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to find a car’s crash-test ratings.  If you’re on the IIHS’s website, look for cars with “top pick” or “good” ratings, and if you’re on the NHTSA’s website, the best cars have four or five stars.

Taking all of this into account, the Victoria Advocate recommends the following cars:

  • 2005 Scion xB
  • 2006 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2006 Ford Fusion
  • 2006 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2007 Suzuki SX-4
  • 2005 Honda CR-V
  • 2007 Mazda3
  • 2008 Honda Accord

Our San Diego car accident lawyers want to help you as parents make educated decisions about what car you ultimately choose to put your teenage driver in.  Since auto accidents are a leading cause of wrongful deaths in teenagers, it is important for all parents to do their homework when it comes to picking the right first car.

Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE consultation with an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer or click here to submit your case for a FREE online review.