One of the biggest milestones of any teenager’s life is acquiring their first vehicle. While this is exciting for both the parent and teen, it can also be nerve-wracking for the former. As much as you want your teen experience this milestone, the idea of your child being on the open road can be frightening. For this reason alone, you need to take the necessary steps to keep your child safe when they’re behind the wheel. Below are four auto features every parent needs to prioritize when buying a new car for their teen.
Electronic Stability Control
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a feature that was mandated back in 2012. It’s essentially a way to minimize the risk of a car accident. According to the CDC, teenagers are three times more likely to have a car accident than drivers over 20 years old. If your teen does lose control of the car for any reason, ESC actually takes control and stabilizes the vehicle by strategically applying the brakes. While this won’t always prevent an accident from occurring, it can minimize the risk and possible severity.
One of the reasons why teenage drivers are categorized as high-risk is because they can be very easily distracted. A prime example of this is using their phone while driving. Teenagers are often on their phones, and an incoming text or call provides easy distraction while they’re driving. In fact, a common reason why car accidents happen is due to someone being on their phone.
When your teen’s car has Bluetooth compatibility, though, they can answer important calls or texts without looking away from the road. It’s easy to use and it’s completely hands-off, which lets them keep their attention on the road.
However, you should still explain to your teens the importance of limiting distractions while they’re driving. This includes unnecessary phone calls and loud music, even if they are using Bluetooth
You would think that every car comes equipped with airbags; however, this isn’t the case. While all new cars are required to have airbags, that has only been a requirement since 1998. That means if you’re buying an older car, it may not come equipped with these important safety features. Also, because airbags deploy on impact, they have to be replaced after a car accident. However, because they’re an expensive component, some shops or owners cut corners and leave the airbags out.
If you’re looking at pre-owned cars for your teen, make sure they are up to date on all modern safety requirements. If you’re buying from a reputable car seller, these will come as a matter of course, but it’s a good idea to check just in case.
Learning how to adjust and use car mirrors are the bare basics of safe driving. Your teen needs car mirrors to see clearly behind you and on either side. Knowing who and what’s coming from every side is any driver stays safe on the road. Some cars have mirrors that adjust automatically when cars approach from behind and on the left and right which can be a very helpful safety feature for new drivers.
Before buying your teen their first vehicle, take the time to research some of the safest makes and models. Even if it doesn’t have all of the above-mentioned features, you can still teach your teen safe driving habits prior to hitting the open road.