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Forget New and Compact Cars for Teens - Here Is a List of Safe Options From IIHS

IIHS releases a common sense list of safe vehicles for teens.

Too many publications tout small, new cars for teens. These publications have no clue. Who does? The Institute For Highway Safety, IIHS, the experts in safety for half a century. They are the folks that crash test and rate your car, crossover, or truck for safety, and they also keep track of real world crash rates and death rates and then go back and record which vehicles are proven to be safest. To jump right to the list by vehicle type, price, and model year, simply click this link.

Keep The Power Down
IIHS has many common sense suggestions. The first is that high horsepower and teens don't mix. In many states, teens on a conditional temporary license can lose their license if they get a single speeding ticket. They don't need the power.

Size Matters
Stay away from mini cars and small cars. Teens crash more than any other group. They need the protection afforded by a larger vehicle.

Electronic Stability Control Is a Must
This technology is not new, but it is significant. It can help any driver maintain control in a variety of situations. For teens, who have little or no real-world evasive maneuver training it is critical.

Buy The Best Crash Test Ratings The Budget Permits
Whether you opt to refer to the government or IIHS ratings, crash test ratings do have a real-world correlation to safety. Buy the vehicle with the best crash test rating in your budget.

Torque News Also Recommends
Torque News would like to add two additional suggestions. First, consider only vehicles with side-impact head airbags. Teens are disproportionately likely to be "T-Boned" at intersections due to lack of experience and distraction. Second, if your budget allows for it, look for a vehicle that has scored "Good" on the relatively new, small frontal overlap test. This test simulates a couple scenarios, but one is a crash into a tree or utility pole with the front corner of the vehicle, something all too common in teen crashes. The small frontal overlap test began about four years ago and side airbags became common in the past five years.