A hand-me-down car can be a safe and budget-friendly option for a new teenage driver. However, be ready to put in a little extra work to ensure the vehicle is up to the task of being your teenager’s learning car. If a vehicle has defects or lacks critical safety features, you could put your teen in danger when they get behind the wheel.
When you’re looking for a hand-me-down car for a new driver, it’s worth spending a little extra time making sure it’s a good fit. Per the CDC, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers in any other age group. Ensuring a vehicle is as safe as possible can decrease the risk and provide peace of mind.
As you look at older vehicles, you may find fewer safety features. The safety features automatically included in today’s cars were often upgrades in older vehicles. These features could save your teen’s life in a crash.
ABS, or antilock braking system, prevents the vehicle from skidding when the brakes are applied firmly. This is essential, as new drivers are known to hit the brakes hard when encountering an obstacle. You can also look into vehicles with daytime running lights and electronic stability control.
A thorough inspection is mandatory before you sign anything or take ownership of a vehicle. Used cars are often sold as-is, and a mechanic can uncover shoddy repairs or quick fixes that a previous owner used to cover up serious problems. Not only can this keep your young driver safe while on the road, but it can also save you a lot of money in repairs.
It’s easy to wave off recommended inspections and maintenance tasks. Some assume that mechanics only seek to get more cars in and earn more money. But these recommendations come from manufacturers, and if they seem more frequent than necessary, it’s often safer and less expensive to repair an issue when you catch it early.
You don’t want to discover that the brakes need repairing when your teen cruises at 70 miles per hour down the highway. You’d much rather hear that from a mechanic during a regular inspection. As a bonus, this teaches your teen driver how to be a responsible car owner and take care of their vehicle.
The engine you choose matters. If you don’t want your teen to be that driver at the red light revving their 6-cylinder engine for all they’re worth, stick to a more affordable and fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine. Teen drivers simply do not need the power of a 6-cylinder engine, and limiting their access to temptation can help them make safer driving choices.
While your teen driver might be coming to you with a list of vehicles they want, try to limit your search to midsize vehicles. Larger vehicles offer more safety, but they’re more challenging to drive. Smaller vehicles aren’t relatively as safe in a crash but are easier to drive. A midsize car offers the best of both worlds, combining moderate protection in collisions with ease of use.
Following essential safety tips can prepare a new driver for the road. What happens if they’re involved in an accident? It’s time to talk to an attorney.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, let’s sit down and discuss your options. If someone else caused the crash, you might be entitled to compensation. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we advocate aggressively for our clients. Find out how we can help you by calling us at (312) 236-2900 or filling out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.