FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is known for its ratings of new vehicles, but for many families, a 2015 Top Safety Pick isn't in the budget for a teen's vehicle. In a national phone survey conducted for IIHS of parents of teen drivers, 83 percent of those who bought a vehicle for their teenagers said they bought it used.
With that reality in mind, the Institute has compiled a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers. There are two tiers of recommended vehicles, best choices and good choices. Prices range from about $3,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.
The recommendations are guided by four main principles:
-Young drivers should stay away from high horsepower. More powerful engines can tempt them to test the limits.
-Bigger, heavier vehicles are safer. They protect better in a crash, and HLDI analyses of insurance data show that teen drivers are less likely to crash them in the first place. There are no minicars or small cars on the recommended list. Small SUVs are included because their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.
-Electronic stability control (ESC) is a must. This feature, which helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads, reduces risk on a level comparable to safety belts.
-Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. At a minimum, that means good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Click here for a list of the best vehicles recommended for teen drivers.
Safer Cars for Teen Drivers
Prices range from about $3,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.
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