driver behind the wheel

Are you looking for a vehicle for the new driver in your family? Choosing the right car for your teenage driver is no small decision. From government crash test ratings to available safety features, parents like you have much to consider.

Top Concerns for Parents of Teenage Drivers

Inexperience is one of the top concerns for parents of new teenage drivers. This inexperience can often contribute to motor vehicle accidents involving teens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers ages 20 and older to be involved in a fatal vehicle accident.

Along with driver inexperience, distracted driving remains a contributing factor in accidents involving teenage drivers. A 2019 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study revealed that distracted driving played a part in close to 58% of vehicle crashes involving teenagers behind the wheel. Speeding is another area of concern for parents. The same AAA Foundation study also indicated that close to half of teen drivers surveyed (49.7%) reported speeding on a residential street within the last 30 days, and 40% admitted they were speeding on freeways.

Accident-avoidance and driver-monitoring technologies remain the top vehicle features that appeal to parents when they’re evaluating vehicle selections for their teen drivers. When looking at potential vehicles for their teenagers, parents can find several sources of information for vehicle safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are two well-recognized sources offering safety rating information, such as predicted reliability ratings and vehicle crash-test scores, to help parents compare vehicles.

What To Look for in a Vehicle

Before taking your teen driver to a dealership, you’ll want to do your research. Focus on the following factors when considering your choices for your teen’s first vehicle:

  • Driver-assistance features: While new vehicles are generally more expensive than used, older model vehicles, new vehicles come with an array of driver-assistance features suited for teenage drivers who don’t have years of experience behind the wheel. These features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist.
  • Driver-monitoring features: Technology elements in many new vehicles allow parents to monitor their teenager in the vehicle. For example, some vehicles offer systems that can send parents real-time updates about their teen’s driving behavior behind the wheel. Other technology elements offer enhanced teen-driver controls that enable parents to set predetermined speed restrictions or control the vehicle stereo system’s audio volume.

What To Avoid in a Vehicle

Parents may be tempted to look only at price when they’re trying to choose a vehicle, but cost shouldn’t be the only determining factor. Parents should be mindful of the following elements to avoid when selecting a vehicle:

  • Vehicles with too much horsepower: Vehicles with enhanced horsepower capabilities may encourage young drivers to drive beyond their skill level, which could contribute to poor decision-making when they’re behind the wheel.
  • Vehicles with enhanced seating capacity: The more passengers present in a vehicle, the more they may contribute to driver distractions.
  • Oversized trucks and large SUVs: Due to their size, these vehicles require more experience and skill to drive than more compact cars and SUVs.

Examples of Best Vehicles for Teenage Drivers

When you’re ready to buy a car for your son or daughter, consider several Hyundai-manufactured vehicles for their safety and dependability features.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Parents and teens will find the 2020 Hyundai Sonata’s redesign offers ample space in the cabin for improved comfort and visibility. The IIHS named the Hyundai Sonata its Top Safety Pick for 2020.

Parents will appreciate the Hyundai Sonata’s generous safety features that are standard across the vehicle’s trim lineup:

  • Forward collision warning.
  • Automatic emergency braking.
  • Lane-departure warning.
  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Driver attention warning system.

The Hyundai Sonata Limited Trim gives drivers eyes on all sides of the vehicle with a surround-view camera. Parents who want to monitor their new driver’s behavior behind the wheel can find Hyundai’s Blue Link technology available on the SEL trim level and above. Blue Link technology allows parents to create vehicle controls, such as speed alerts and geofencing parameters.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

When purchasing a vehicle for their child, parents want one that they can rely on to take their son or daughter safely from destination to destination. The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe offers this reliability and safety, earning a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA.

Parents will appreciate the wealth of driver safety features that the Hyundai Santa Fe delivers, including automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist. Upper trims include blind-spot monitoring and a surround-view camera that enhance driver visibility on all sides of the vehicle.

Parents who want to monitor their teen driver while the vehicle is in motion will find the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe’s parental control features, such as geofencing boundaries and curfew settings, especially beneficial. These elements are packaged as part of Hyundai’s Blue Link technology, a standard offering on the SEL trim and above.

2017 Hyundai Tucson

While it may be an older model vehicle in this list, the 2017 Hyundai Tucson remains a top choice for safety and reliability. This vehicle comes standard with a rearview camera and the following driver safety features:

  • Forward collision warning.
  • Automatic emergency braking.
  • Blind-spot monitoring.
  • Lane-departure warning.
  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert.

The 2017 Hyundai Tucson earned a high-performing crash-test score of Good in each crash test conducted by the IIHS. The NHTSA gave the Hyundai Tucson a five-star overall safety rating, while J.D. Power awarded the vehicle 4.5 out of five stars for reliability.

When choosing a vehicle for your teen’s ride, put driver safety and vehicle dependability high on your list of features to consider. Start your vehicle shopping at Huffines Hyundai McKinney. We offer an impressive selection of new and used Hyundai vehicles and look forward to helping you find the best vehicle for your teen driver. Explore our online inventory or visit our showroom to test drive a vehicle with your teen.

Image via Pexels by JESHOOTS.com


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