The goal of every American teenager is to procure their own vehicle. After all, it stands testimony that the individual is finally responsible enough to get on the road without parental supervision. It sends a statement stating that the teen is on his or her way to becoming an adult. However, parents should be wary about purchasing certain vehicles for their children. The fact is, some cars on the market are just plain bad news for teenagers. Here is a short list on some of the worst cars for parents to buy for their children or allow them to buy for themselves.
The first type of car on the list would be the sub-compact, such as the Volkswagen Beetle. These cars may look cute, which appeals to many young women, but this particular vehicle has a couple of flaws that could potentially be very dangerous for inexperienced drivers. The elongated windshield creates two blindspots, which when coupled with the low side impact ratings, could be devastating to someone not paying close attention to the road. That said, not all sub-compacts are a bad choice; on the contrary, many small cars are quite safe. You simply have to check with the IIHS (Insurance Institute For Highway Safety) to find out which vehicles have been names as a “Top Safety Pick.”
The second type on the list would be the muscle car, such as the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro. These types of cars simply have too much power for someone without a lot of road experience. With an extremely fast acceleration, even the slightest loss of traction can cause the driver to lose complete control of the vehicle. Couple that with the average driving tendencies of youth speeding, and this particular type can quickly become an instant death trap for teens.
The third type we will discuss is the SUV, especially open cabin ones such the Jeep Wrangler. The main issue with vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler is the high roll-over rate. SUV’s simply have too high of a center of gravity, causing them to roll easily if a turn is taken too sharply. That and the Jeep Wrangler has a low side impact score if it isn’t equipped with side airbags, which makes this vehicle extremely dangerous for teens.
All in all, parents looking to buy their teen their first car should first do the research to find out exactly what the ratings are from both NHTSA as well as IIHS. Once parents research this information, they should then couple that knowledge with the overall cost of the vehicle. This way, parents can buy a vehicle that isn’t too expensive for a teen to lightly damage, as well as ensure the safety of their children as much as possible.