What Are the Safest Cars for Your Teenager?

A teenager’s first car is a huge milestone for parents and teens alike. While a teen might be most concerned with how their first vehicle looks, most parents are more worried about safety. Handing your teenager their first set of keys can be nerve-racking, but a little research into vehicle safety can help alleviate at least some of your parental fears. 

Not all cars are created equal, and many aren’t a good choice for a new driver. Knowing what safety features to look for and which cars are best rated for teen safety can help the process of shopping for a teen’s first ride be smooth for parents and teenagers alike.

The Safest Cars for Teenage Drivers

The Safest Cars for Teenage Drivers

Identifying which cars are safest for teen drivers is no easy feat. Fortunately, plenty of reputable organizations have done the work of pouring through crash statistics and vehicle specifications to identify which cars bring the lowest chance of a teen driver ending up in a crash. 

In reviewing data from organizations that include the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Kelley Blue Book, and U.S. News & World Report, it becomes clear that certain models rise to the top of nearly every teen safety ranking. 

Safest New Vehicles For Teens

You never know what a used car has been through. If you’re among the many parents who feel safer purchasing a new vehicle for their teen, you’re in luck. Several well-known and affordable models make the top of the 2023 and 2024 safety rankings. Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru appear in nearly every list. 

If you’re looking for a safe new vehicle for your teen driver, some of the best options include: 

  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda HR-V
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Mazda 3
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-50
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Subaru Forester
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Subaru Ascent
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota RAV4

All these teen vehicle suggestions have been awarded the most recent Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS.

Safest Used Vehicles for Teens

Choosing a used car for your teen has pros and cons. Affordability is often a primary concern, as not all parents want the price tag of a new vehicle. Opting for used can help you save on costs, and it also means you have a wider array of options. When choosing a used car, it’s important to check safety rankings for both the make and model as well as the year. 

It’s not uncommon for cars to have high safety rankings for certain years only, so you’ll need to be a bit more careful in your research to know if your teen’s new car is safe. Top safety picks when it comes to choosing a used vehicle for a teen driver include: 

  • Honda Models: CR-X, CR-V
  • Mazda Models: 3, 6, CX-3, CX-5, 
  • Subaru Models: Impreza, Legacy, Outback, Forester
  • Toyota Models: Avalon, Highlander, Prius, Prius V, RAV4, Sienna, Tacoma
  • Other Models: Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Genesis, Volvo XC60, Nissan Murano

Purchasing a used car comes with inherent risks. You don’t know what the vehicle has been through or how it was cared for by the previous owner. 

Before buying a used car for your teen, it’s a good idea to check the CARFAX report for accident history, have the vehicle inspected by a dealership or trusted mechanic before buying, and have the car fully serviced before you hand the keys over to your teen.

Safety Features To Look for in Your Teen’s Car

Safety rankings are a good way to assess whether a car has a reputation for safety. However, rankings aren’t the end of the story when it comes to purchasing a safe car for a teenager. Vehicles today have more safety features than ever before. If you find a good car that hasn’t made its way to the top of safety lists, it’s not necessarily a bad choice. 

Safety features to look for in any car you buy for a teen driver include: 

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision lane departure warning
  • Collision prevention system
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Backup camera
  • Rear cross-traffic warning
  • Lane centering assistance

These features have been increasingly integrated into vehicles because testing shows they can significantly reduce the chance of a crash. Every parent knows that a teen driver needs all the help they can get when it comes to learning how to drive safely and confidently. 

You won’t always be in the vehicle to warn your teen of potential dangers. Choosing a vehicle with the right safety features can go a long way toward helping your young driver stay safe.  

Watching for Recalls and Safety Warnings

Car manufacturers are always in the process of monitoring their vehicles for potential safety issues. With any car, there’s a risk of the manufacturer issuing a part recall or a safety warning. These can happen at any time, and they often occur after a car has been on the road for years. 

Whatever model vehicle you buy for your teen, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on safety warnings and recalls issued by the manufacturer. If you purchase a new car through a dealership, you should be informed of any potential issues. However, if you choose to buy used, staying informed about safety issues with the vehicle will be your responsibility.  

Getting Help With Teen Car Accident Costs

No matter how safe a car you buy for your teen, car accidents are an unfortunate reality of life. Parents — and police officers — often assume an inexperienced driver is the one at fault for a crash. 

However, that is often not the case. If your teen driver ends up involved in a car accident, make sure they know to protect themself by not admitting fault or discussing the crash with insurance agents. A teen driver who did nothing wrong can end up in trouble with the insurance company if they say the wrong thing. 

The best way to protect a teenage driver after a car accident is to speak with a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help investigate whether the other driver should be deemed at fault for the crash. They can also investigate whether manufacturer defects played a role in the accident. 

Knowing the right steps to take and consulting a legal professional can help keep your teen’s driving record clear, help you avoid unnecessary insurance increases, and provide you with injury compensation if your teen is hurt in the crash. 

Learn How a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Don’t wait to get help after a teen car accident. The San Antonio car accident attorneys at George Salinas Injury Lawyers can review your case and help you understand your options for injury compensation after a crash involving a teen driver. Call us today for a free consultation.

Call George Salinas Injury Lawyers at (210) 225-0909 or contact us online to request a free case review with an experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney.