When buying a car there are many different factors to consider: affordability, safety features, cost of ownership, and more. What many buyers may not consider is the age and ability of the driver, which may be the most important when it comes to safety. So, what are the safest cars for teenagers and seniors?
Out on the road, teenagers and seniors are the most at-risk demographics for getting into an accident. In 2017, over 3,000 teens (ages 15 to 19) were involved in fatal crashes, according to the Administración Nacional de Seguridad del Tráfico en las Carreteras (NHTSA). Over 2,500 of those accidents led to the death of the teen driver. However, people over the age of 65 made up 18 percent of crash fatalities in 2017 alone.
Buying a Car for Your Teen
Many parents choose to buy older and used cars for their teens, with the mentality that they are probably going to damage it in some way. However, newer cars have advanced safety features, that in the event of a crash could save a life.
“Because teen drivers haven’t gained experience and judgment, advanced safety features can help back them up in situations that require skills they haven’t yet developed,” said Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Report’s Auto Test Center and a parent of a teen driver.
The Safest Cars for Teens
If you can afford to buy a new car, here are some of the best options with FCW and AEB:
- Mazada3, range in price from $18,095-$24,945
- Toyota Corolla, has had FCW and AEB since the 2017 model and will range in price from $18,700-$22,880
- Honda Civic, this vehicle has handsfree music streaming and will range in price from $18,840-$28,65
If a new car is not in your budget, the Instituto de Seguros para la Seguridad Vial (IIHS) has an extensive list of older models with high safety ratings. Here is the top car from each category:
- Volkswagen Passat, a midsize car that is 2013 or newer for $6,600
- Volvo S80, a larger car that is 2007 or newer for $3,900
- Mazda CX5, a small SUV that is 2014 or newer for $10,700
- Volvo XC90, a midsize SUV that is 2005 or newer for $3,700
- Toyota Tacoma Access Cab, a small pickup that is 2016 or newer for $18,100
- Toyota Tundra Double Cab, a large pickup that is 2o14 or newer for $19,000
Buying a Car for Seniors
In the state of Virginia, the Department of Motor Vehicles has certain precautions in place to make sure all drivers over the age of 75 are fit to be operating a vehicle. Drivers 75 or older must go to the DMV in person to renew their driver’s license.
While safety is still a top priority when buying a car for a senior, there are different parameters than teens. Other features to consider when buying a car for an older person are:
- Controls that are not too complex
- A vehicle height that is easily accessible
- Headlights that give off adequate light
Similar to buying a car for a teenager, Consumer Reports also recommends that seniors have FCW and AEB
The Safest Cars for Seniors
Older drivers have different needs and uses for their cars than people under the age of 65. They might need something that will be comfortable for long trips or space for grandchildren’s car seats. Based on these needs Consumer Reports put together a list of the “Best Cars for Savvy Seniors”. Here are the top five:
- Subaru Forester (this was also on the list for best cars for families)
- Hyundai Santa Fe
- Kia Sorrento
- Subaru Outback
- Honda CRV
As personal injury attorneys, we know how it important it is to protect all of your loved ones. Picking the safest cars for teenagers and seniors is a big financial decision and it is good to prepare yourself with the safety information you need before you walk into the showroom.