IIHS Recommends the Best Features Teen Drivers Should Look for in Vehicles

Let's face it: When it comes to driving, most teen drivers (or new drivers) rank low when it comes to 'driving experience.' This can be a disadvantage on their part, but then again, most of us started driving when we were teens as well. And really, if we'll be honest with ourselves, we each have our own driving nightmares we'd like to forget about during our adolescent years.

Still, we think the younger generations are luckier. There are more studies (and breakthroughs) about safety driving these days, and teenagers have access to them for free. The most recent ones include the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) top recommendations for teen drivers. And according to them, these features are what teens should look for in their first vehicle:

1. Choose cars with low horsepower.

Those with higher horsepower have more powerful engines, and teenagers can be tempted 'to test the limits.'

2. The larger vehicles are safer.

The larger vehicles are heavier, which make them more dense and less prone to toppling over in a collision. Moreover, IIHS reported that teenagers are "less likely" to crash them in the first place.

3. Electronic stability (ESC) should be included.

It's an important feature for teens, since it allows teens to control their cars on when they're driving on curvy and slippery roads.

4. Choose cars with good--if not the best--safety ratings.

There are many well-known and credible institutions that occasionally give updates on vehicle safety ratings. IIHS is one of them--and so is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For IIHS, choose vehicles that have garnered good to best ratings in their moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. For NHTSA, choose those with four or five stars.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Much closer to home, and thus more relevant to the market, is the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) which conducts crash tests and assigns scores on vehicles that are primarily sold for the region, which the Philippines is part of.

Final Word

We think the teenage years are actually a good time to start learning to drive. Not only are their reflexes much sharper, but their senses are more acute as well. Whatever the case, it's always best to tone their youthful enthusiasm a notch down and stay on the safe side. And the best way to do this is to choose vehicles that do this kind of job well.

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