If there is one thing that puts most Houston parents on edge, it is when their teenage children start driving. Without question, the best way to keep your teen safe behind the wheel is by taking as many opportunities as you can to talk about — and demonstrate — safety on the road. With that being said, the type of vehicle your teen operates plays a role in keeping them safe too. If you are planning to buy your teen a car, it pays to keep certain things in mind to ensure that you get the safest vehicle possible. A solid, safe vehicle will reduce the risk of injuries in the event of an accident and can even keep accidents from happening in the first place. After all, paying for Houston mobile windshield repair on a safe vehicle is far better than winding up with a hospitalized child — or worse.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Vehicle for Your Teenager
Buying a car for a teenager is a daunting proposition. The decision should rest almost entirely with the parents. Sure, teens have preferences; they usually want a car with a good sound system, for instance, and appearance matters a great deal. Naturally, music and outward appearances do not do a whole lot in terms of safety, so the best course of action is to find a few vehicles that fill the bill in that department then let your teen pick their favorite.
Keep the following points in mind to find a safe, reliable vehicle for your teenager:
Size – A mid-sized vehicle like a four-door sedan is a good choice for teenage drivers. It is large enough to offer good crash protection but small enough to avoid being unwieldy for inexperienced drivers to handle. Late-model SUVs with electronic stability control are good options as well.
Age – Sure, brand-new cars have the latest safety features. However, they cost a fortune to insure. Extremely old cars lack crucial safety features, break down a lot and do not tend to handle very well. With these points in mind, choose a car that is near the middle of its typical lifespan.
Crash Test Scores – While researching cars for your teen, always consult vehicle safety ratings and crash test scores from IIHS and NHTSA. At a glance, you will know how much crash protection you can expect from any given vehicle and can avoid cars that may not be as safe as they are cracked up to be.
Power – Do not tempt fate by purchasing a car with excessive horsepower or an extremely powerful engine. Rather, stick with 4-cylinder models to reduce the risk of on-the-road hijinks. Besides, most modern 4-cylinder vehicles have more than enough oomph for the vast majority of drivers.
Safety Features – Although there is no need to buy a late-model car with the fanciest safety features, insist on one that has airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control at the very least. Knowing your teen is protected by top-notch safety features will help you breathe a little easier.
Cost – Pricier vehicles tend to be performance-driven, which increases the risk of reckless driving and other issues. Also, of course, they cost a fortune to insure. Stick with reasonably priced vehicles instead.
If you buy a used car, invest a little extra money fixing it up as needed. Houston mobile auto glass repair services are a convenient option for cracks, chips and other minor damage. Some parts and components may need to be replaced too. If the windshield is cracked beyond repair, for instance, find a reputable Houston windshield replacement company to have the matter resolved. Finally, regardless of which vehicle you buy, take plenty of time showing your teen all of the safety features, and place restrictions on when, where and how often they can drive to ease them into driving.