Think twice before handing down your old family car to your new teen driver.
This old tradition made a lot of sense years ago.
Your teen would receive something they saw as a treasure, you wouldn’t have to feel bad about not being one of those parents who buy them a new car for their 16th birthday, and the old family jalopy would see a few more years of good use.
But now, new vehicles mean improved safety options. Cars now are being equipped with a variety of new safety features that simply weren’t available when your old family car was being made.
As the article “5 new cars that offer great value” discusses, value and safety go hand-in-hand.
Here are some of the features you can expect to find when you buy a new vehicle for your teen driver:
More than 90 percent of new automobiles manufactured in the U.S. since 1994 have black boxes factory installed.
Oldsmobile, Buick, Chevrolet and Pontiac started the practice solely as a measure to record crash events. Indeed, black boxes inside vehicles are called event data recorders, and they are designed to help automotive manufacturers to understand what causes crashes by doing forensic investigation on crashes.
Though the black box won’t technically help prevent a crash before it happens, it can help prove responsibility in cases where it’s unclear if the vehicle failed mechanically or if the operator was at fault.
Those with teen drivers will feel better whether or not their teen was driving recklessly in the moments before an accident, in which case further driver education would be warranted.
So in that sense, the black box could actually play a part in reducing the chances for a future accident.
Backup cameras will be government mandated on all vehicles as of May 2018, but some manufacturers are already installing this long-awaited feature on luxury automobiles.
In the U.S. alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 50 children each week are the victim of an accident involving a vehicle backing up. The problem is obvious.
Children playing on driveways or even on sidewalks are so low to the ground that even meticulous drivers can’t see them when backing up. Unfortunately, teens may not be so sensitive to this situation as the parent of a young child would be.
The resulting tragedy scars both the victim’s family and your remorseful teen, who may not ever want to drive again.
The backup camera is truly a needed and revolutionary tool that allows drivers to see all the way down to the road when they are backing up. Whatever extra cost the dealership may charge, it’s worth it.
Automatic headlights have been around for a while, but they’re still not a feature you can find on every vehicle. Automatic headlights stay on while the engine is on and turn off when the engine is off.
The safety factor comes into play because for a teen returning to the car after a late waitressing shift, a dead battery can mean danger.
They may be stranded in an empty parking lot until you can arrive with a battery charger. Automatic headlights mean no more dead batteries, which mean safer teens.
As more safety features become available, young drivers stand to be the beneficiaries.