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How do I choose a safe vehicle for the new driver in my family?

safe-car-shopping

That time has finally come. Your youngest, possibly your only, child has reached the age where they are legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle. It definitely has been scary teaching him or her to drive but to see them obtain their New Jersey driver’s license is a mixed feeling of pride, joy, and anxiety.

Now that the newest driver in the family is licensed, your next question is what vehicle is the best for them to use?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), automobile crashes are the leading cause of death in 14-18 year old drivers. Furthermore, almost half of those teens involved in an accident end up dying.

The statistics may be staggering but it is important to view them as a vital piece of information that highlight just how dangerous roads can be for new drivers.

This leads to the first thing you should look for in a vehicle: safety.

There are definitely plenty of cars to choose from but in order to find something safe, you may have to pass up on buying that used car that is cheap and reasonably priced and look for a new model that comes with the newest and latest safety features.

Safety features in a car today go beyond a seatbelt and one airbag. There are passenger airbags that deploy from the front, as well as airbags that deploy from the sides. There are self-stopping cars (automatic emergency braking) and ones that come with backup cameras and alarms to alert drivers of potential hazards. But beyond that, you should take the time to research a vehicle’s safety rating to get a better idea of how it holds up in a crash, which shows how safe your new driver would be in the event of a collision.

The next thing you should look for when choosing a safe vehicle is a model that fits the average, inexperienced driver. This means staying away from the bigger, heavier types of vehicles, which can be harder to handle. Bigger vehicles also offer a lot of passenger seating and passengers are one of many things that can lead to a distracted driver.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is best to stay away from a sports car for your new driver. Statistics show they carry a higher rate of accidents than other automobiles, which means they also carry high premiums when it comes to insurance.

When searching for a safe vehicle you might also want to look into things like how fast the car accelerates and its braking distance in dry conditions. For acceleration times you should look for a vehicle that does not go from 0-60 mph super fast but also does not accelerate too slow, which can also be detrimental on the road. For braking distances, the ideal vehicle has a braking distance shorter than 150 feet in dry conditions.

When it comes down to it, researching a vehicle is extremely important when choosing a safe vehicle for your new driver. It is also important to test drive the automobile so you can assess its reliability, safety, and performance for yourself.

Keep in mind though, especially based on the earlier mentioned statistics, that accidents do happen all the time with new drivers. There are a number of reasons why a car accident could occur, especially on busy New Jersey roadways, so it is important to have an experienced attorney to help your new driver should a collision or personal injury take place. The car accident lawyers at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC bring experience to the table when it comes to car accident victims. Contact them today to begin building your case.

 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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