Safest Cars for Teens

safest cars for teens

Teen Drivers at Risk

2014 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows 16-19 year-old drivers are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than those aged 20 and over.

In recent years, some automakers have responded with various technologies to help teens adopt safe driving habits, and also keep parents informed of what’s going on when their new driver is behind the wheel.

Cars are so much safer than they used to be, so although the stress of a new teenage diver in your home is a lot to handle, you can ease some of that stress by knowing they are traveling in a safe car.

So what are the safest cars for teens?

Best Cars for Teen Drivers

You know that you want to keep your teen safe, but what features should you look for?

Parents typically consider:

  • Safety
  • Reliability
  • Fuel economy
  • Price

Recommendations are typically guided by four principles:

  • Teen drivers should stay away from horsepower
  • Bigger, heavier cars are safer
  • Electronic stability control is essential
  • Vehicles should have the best car safety ratings possible

Some experts argue the greater the mass of the car, the better the protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for example recommends bigger and heavier cars. A study by the IIHS shows teenagers killed in crashes are more likely than adults to be in a smaller and older vehicle.

Crash protection and safety technology should be priorities. Older models are less likely to have electronic stability control (ESC) and side airbags.

Parents should look for late-model, midsize cars with modern safety features. Some of the important features are standard on all models including electronic stability control and antilock brakes. AAA suggestions for safety technology include:

  • A forward collision warning system, some vehicles may also include automatic emergency braking
  • A crash notification system
  • A backup camera with rear cross-traffic alert

Safest Cars for Teens

As mentioned before, newer models typically have the majority of the suggested safety features.

The safest new cars according to Edmunds include:

  • 2016 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2016 Chrysler 200
  • 2016 Ford Fusion
  • 2016 Honda Accord
  • 2016 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2016 Kia Optima
  • 2016 Mazda 6
  • 2016 Subaru Impreza
  • 2016 Toyota Camry
  • 2016 Volkswagen Jetta

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.

The safest used cars according to Consumer Reports include:

  • Chevrolet Malibu (2009-2012)
  • Ford Focus (2009-2011)
  • Ford Fusion (2010-2012)
  • Hyundai Sonata (2006-2014)
  • Kia Soul (2010-2011)
  • Mazda3 (2011-2013)
  • Mazda6i (2009-2013)
  • Toyota RAV4 (2004-2012)
  • Volkswagen Jetta (2009-2010)
  • Volkswagen Rabbit/Golf (2009-2014)