5 Must-Have Car Safety Features for Teen Drivers
When you have kids, you embark on a journey of worrying for the rest of your life. It begins with protecting them from hazards around the home as they become more mobile with crawling and walking. However, once they hit their teenage years, the worries about safe mobility continue when they first hit the road.
These days, many people don’t have the budget to buy a fully loaded new vehicle for their teen drivers. Still, spending a little more to have better safety features is paramount.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for teens ages 16 to 19 is almost three times the rate for drivers aged 20 and over. This sobering statistic may not help you sleep any better at night, but choosing a car with the right safety features can help ease your mind.
Best Car Safety Features for Teens
Airbags and antilock brakes have become standard safety features in all modern vehicles. Now there are more must-have safety features that you will find in newer models that will help keep your teen driver safer on the road.
1. Traction and Stability Control
Both traction control and stability control are often included in most newer vehicles. Traction control helps the car maintain grip during acceleration by working with the ABS to keep it accelerating in a straight and controlled way. Stability control also engages ABS through a variety of sensors that monitor the vehicle. If anything is amiss, these sensors engage ABS to apply brake pressure to help the vehicle maintain control.
Traction control and stability control are crash avoidance technologies. The federal government mandated that they be included in all vehicles manufactured after 2012, so if you’re searching for a used vehicle to keep costs down, try to find one that was built after 2012.
2. Rear Camera
One of the best safety features to grace modern vehicles is the rear camera, also known as the backup camera. This smart feature shows what’s behind the vehicle when it is in reverse gear. It shows the video on a screen in the center infotainment display in modern vehicles. For older vehicles with this technology, it will display in a small portion of the rearview mirror.
With a rear camera, it’s much easier to avoid collisions with pedestrians, pets, cyclists, and other obstructions when backing up. This feature was made mandatory in all new cars sold after May 2014, and it can help your teen avoid some of the most common types of accidents.
3. Forward Collision Warning
Since teen drivers are still getting used to how to stop in time, a forward collision warning system can be a great asset. Most new models have a FCW system, usually paired with an emergency braking system. It will alert your teen when their car is closing in too quickly on another vehicle or object ahead. With audio, visual, and haptic warnings, your teen will be able to stop in time. If not, the automatic braking system, if it is available in the vehicle you choose, will kick in to avoid a collision.
4. Blind-Spot Monitoring
Even the most skilled drivers will have a scare from time to time when they change lanes and nearly crash into a vehicle in their blind spot. Blind-spot monitoring alerts drivers when a vehicle is hidden by one of the car’s pillars. Visual alerts pop up to warn of this danger and help prevent an accident.
5. Emergency Crash Notification
Not every accident with a teen driver will be their fault. In fact, they could be doing everything right when they wind up in a car accident. It’s a terrifying feeling for anyone, especially for new drivers. Having an SOS button, like OnStar, is certainly an option, though it can be expensive to keep up the subscription. However, there are other options through smartphone apps that can offer automatic accident detection for a smaller monthly fee.
One last thing that can help is contacting a law firm with experience representing car accident victims. Insurance companies love to blame teen drivers for their inexperience, but with a lawyer, you’ll be ready for anything.