SEATTLE — A new study by PEMCO found many new teen drivers are driving older, sometimes unsafe vehicles. According to a new poll, about a third of drivers said their first car was more than ten years old when they received it. Unfortunately, older cars lack safety improvements, and smaller cars tend to suffer the most when they collide with larger vehicles.
“While older cars are often more affordable for parents and teens, our poll confirms the trend we suspected – parents opt for older and sometimes smaller cars for their teens when a newer car would be a safer option,” PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg said.
According to PEMCO, smaller cars are more popular, but more dangerous than larger ones because a shorter wheelbase can be less forgiving with driving mistakes. Quoting the Highway Loss Data Institute, teens are twice as likely to crash a small car as adult drivers.
“There are many resources for teens and parents to help you choose a first car that’s safe, reliable, and affordable,” Osterberg said. “Websites that compare crash-test results and safety ratings across makes and models are often a great place to start. Check out IIHS’s crash-test results or 5-Star Safety Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”