So, one might assume that every parent would naturally put safety on the top of their list when buying a car for their new driver. Afterall, this car will be what keeps children secure from their occasional poor decision, the wrath of mother nature and the crazy and often impaired drivers sharing the road.
Over the years I have noticed something unsettling when talking to parents who are buying cars for their new drivers. There seems to be an apparent and consistent disconnect in applying any sort of safety standard on the choice of car their child will be driving solo in. Priorities cited as overall importance from the parents' viewpoint were price, engine power and looks. Is it just me or what happened to safety as a priority?
Car selection can be a life or death choice! Many serious and fatal vehicle casualties from auto accidents can be prevented if the individual wears a seatbelt. If a driver has a vehicle equipped with airbags, ABS brakes, crumple zones or a legitimate "safety cage," there is a much better chance of walking away from the scene, versus being carried away. The unfortunate thing is that many parents assume their kids will have minor accidents with their car, so they feel buying a cheap car is the the most attractive attribute for a first car. This is understandable, but one can find safety in a car, without spending anymore on a vehicle.
Do your research, this is the information age afterall. Visit the Insurance Institute for highway Safety (IIHS) for the best crash data www.IIHS.org. One can also visit the government's National Highway Safety Crash Administrations (NHTSA) www.NHTSA.gov site for additional tests, such as on roof strength in new vehicles. I prefer the IIHS data when it comes to their barrier testing, but anything is better than nothing.