Those last few years of preparing your teenager prior to sending them off on their own can be stressful. Even with all the training in the world, your teenage child will still want to learn things on their own. The biggest strain on a parent of a kid 16-18, is when they start learning to drive. It’s their first step into the real world and can be hazardous at times. In order to pick the right vehicle for an inexperienced driver, you need to consider a number of things. Having the right car will reduce your anxiety as a parent, significantly.
Safety first. Safety should be your biggest concern. Finding a secure car is rather easy these days as all cars are given a safety rating. The inexperienced driver has a higher risk while on the road and will need better protection. Look for a vehicle that has received a Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Pick Safety Award such as the new Kia Forte.
Stability is important. Vehicles these days are more computer-controlled than ever. A lot of new cars have electronic stability control and anti-lock braking systems. ESC is an aid that helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle. It prevents such things as wheel spin from hard acceleration. ABS prevents the wheels from completely locking up when braking in intense situations. Heavy, but controlled braking is far more effective than skidding to a stop. The Subaru Impreza 2.5i offers both these features, along with an all-wheel drive system for optimum stability.
Seeing is believing. It’s important for your teenage driver to have as much visibility as possible when driving. Better visibility will increase their confidence on the road and lower the number of surprises. The Toyota Corolla is a good example of a high visibility car.
Hands free is the way to be. There are already enough distractions on the road – young drivers don’t need all their gadgets adding to this. Look for vehicles that offer blue tooth hands-free systems. Better yet, cars like the new Ford Fiesta have a hands-free system called SYNC that uses voice-activation to control cell phone, Ipod and stereo use. These systems will keep your child’s attention on the road.
Price matters. This is going to be the car that they beat up and abuse. There will be incidents of scraping curbs parallel parking along with other bumps and scrapes. Regardless of who is paying for the vehicle, it will be a lot less stressful on the wallet, especially when it comes to paying insurance. The Kia Soul is a great example of an inexpensive new car.
There are a number of other safety features packed into cars nowadays to protect your new driver. The key is to shield them with enhanced safety features, improved stability, maximum visibility and anything else that keeps their attention on the road.
About.com’s Ten Best Cars for Teens list
- 2012 Ford Fiesta
- 2012 Honda Insight
- 2012 Kia Forte
- 2012 Kia Soul
- 2012 Mazda 2
- 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer (ex. Ralliart and Evolution models)
- 2012 Smart Fortwo
- 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.5i (ex. WRX, Sti or 2.5GT models)
- 2012 Toyota Corolla
- 2012 Volkswagen Jetta S (ex. SE and SEL models)
They provide a good description of why each model was chosen at their website.
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