How Much Safety Technology Should A Teen Driver Purchase?

How Much Safety Technology Should A Teen Driver Purchase?

There’s a debate raging over on the Automotive Speak Communities about superior security know-how and teenage drivers.

“I’ve observed your partiality to all the new safety features obtainable on at this time’s automobiles – automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and rear cross visitors alert, amongst others,” writes Michael Britten.

Together with his own teen grandchildren about to take the wheel, he requested: “Don’t you are feeling it is vital for brand spanking new young drivers to know what defensive driving is all about? Once they have mastered this idea, then, positive, let them wallow in all the know-how.”

Our associates at Automotive Speak have been teen driving security advocates lengthy before the manufacturers began producing automobiles with superior safety know-how. In truth, they only produced a brand new Teen Driving Toolkit with lots of knowledge, plus a useful contract to sign together with your youngsters as they venture out for their first solo miles in the automotive.

There’s rather a lot to unpack here, and we’ll try to dig via it bit by bit.

Teen Driving Statistics

Getting behind the wheel has been — and nonetheless is — probably the most dangerous activities your teen can interact in. In response to the Facilities for Disease Management:

  • In 2015, 2,333 teenagers in america ages 16–19 have been killed and 235,845 have been treated in emergency departments for accidents suffered in motorcar crashes.
  • Six teenagers of driving age die every single day from motorcar injuries.
  • In 2013, younger individuals ages 15-19 represented only 7% of the U.S. inhabitants. Nevertheless, they accounted for 11% ($10 billion) of the full costs of motorcar injuries.
  • Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are almost 3 times more possible than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
  • In 2016, the motorcar dying price for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was two occasions that of their female counterparts.
  • The presence of minor passengers increases the crash danger of unsupervised teen drivers. This danger will increase with the number of teen passengers.
  • The fatal crash fee per mile driven is almost twice as high for 16 to 17 yr olds as compared to 18to 19 yr olds, indicating that teenagers with newly minted licenses are at much higher danger.

Driver Training

Despite all the evidence that teens are at large danger behind the wheel, People do a horrendous job of training new drivers.

It’s true that in recent times, most states have instituted some sort of graduated licenses for brand spanking new teens that try and alleviate a few of the danger elements enumerated above. For instance, in Massachusetts, new drivers underneath the age of 18 have a curfew of 12:00am, and are also restricted from driving with anyone beneath the age of 21.

But in most states, “Driver’s Ed” exists for two causes:

  • To offer teens with the state-required driving and remark hours behind the wheel
  • To apply what they’ll face once they take their street check

Street exams differ by state, but virtually none of the street exams evaluate teenagers on expertise that can either avoid a crash or mitigate its effects.

For example, the street check within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts evaluates whether or not topics can use hand alerts and persistently maintain each palms on the steering wheel. The 175-page official Massachusetts Driver’s Guide incorporates EIGHT PAGES of data on obtaining a title, however never once mentions winter tires, the right way to use anti-lock brakes effectively to avoid a collision, or how stability control works.

To its credit score, it does reference having tires correctly inflated ONCE on page 80, so yay!


There’s a whole lot of semi-autonomous, advanced security know-how coming at us as we speak and within the coming years. With that know-how comes a rash of studies — typically from the very same businesses — that come to totally different, contradictory results.

For instance, the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Safety (IIHS) has been at the forefront of learning superior collision avoidance techniques, however its outcomes may be problematic. All the best way back in 2012, when the business was simply beginning to implement collision avoidance applied sciences, the group’s Freeway Loss Knowledge Institute noted that such features have been decreasing crashes by 14 %.

However, in a 2018 research, the IIHS noted that such technologies had specific issues, including vital points on hills and curves. Superior cruise management efficiency was additionally singled out too-abrupt braking, or failure to brake at all in some checks.

That doesn’t even start to discuss the truth that lane-keeping, reverse-sensing, and advanced cruise management applied sciences merely DO NOT WORK in inclement weather, when both new and skilled drivers might use probably the most assist.

None of the adaptive cruise control techniques are designed to be used within the snow, and, in accordance with specialists like our personal John Paul, and the individuals we talked to at Tire Rack, cruise control — whether advanced or not — shouldn’t be used in the rain at all.

Similarly, Ahead Collision Warning know-how — an audible and visual warning that a collision is imminent, often paired with Automated Emergency Braking — is rendered meaningless in snowy circumstances when sensors are coated, or when forward-looking cameras can’t see by way of the snow any higher than your eyes can. Many sensors may also be rendered ineffective by brilliant daylight, particularly an issue in the morning and afternoon commute hours within the fall and winter.

The bottom line: Based on the IIHS, “[Forward Collsion Warning] alone and FCW with [Automatic Emergency Braking] are efficient in decreasing rear-end crashes,” however these applied sciences are solely effective once they work, so the driving force needs to be educated and skilled and cannot depend on know-how alone.


The current prime search in Google for “greatest automobiles for teenagers” leads to an inventory of latest automobiles that range in worth from $18,500 to $40,000, and used automobiles that range from $16,000 to $25,000. In fact, that’s proper within the range of the typical worth for brand spanking new automobiles ($35,000) and used automobiles ($19,400) in 2018.

You should purchase loads of superior safety know-how in entry degree automobiles as we speak, however that’s a relatively new concept. Manufacturers like Toyota have bundled all of its advanced know-how — a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert and automated high beams — into the Toyota Safety Sense package deal, which is normal on one among its least expensive automobiles, the Toyota Yaris.

But that’s on automobiles from 2017 forward. The Yaris starts at $15,635, and most popularly outfitted Yarii at a mean dealership vary from $17,500 to $18,500 before reductions.

I’m unsure about you, however we’re plowing all we will into 529 packages, orthodontia and primary bills. If I can relate a personal expertise, I’ve obtained a 14-year-old daughter at house who’s interested by shopping for her personal transportation when she reaches driving age, which in Massachusetts is 16 half. She worked all this summer time and fall at an apple orchard and saved $1,200. By the point she reaches driving age, she’ll in all probability have $3,500 to $four,000 in her savings account. We’ve got agreed to match no matter she saves so she will buy a halfway respectable automotive.

That’s an extended ways from $17,000, and we’re not about to encourage her to saddle herself with a automotive cost when she’s doubtless going to need to pay loans to cowl some of her school schooling. We don’t even purchase $17,000 automobiles for ourselves, not to mention a child who’s in all probability going to stumble upon each fuel pump and mailbox she gets close to for the primary six months.

We’ve got an inventory of automobiles that we’ve researched that not only have an exceedingly low dying price per million miles traveled, however which are obtainable within the $5,000 to $7,000 range. These automobiles all have seatbelts, a number of airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction management and stability management as commonplace gear.


Here’s an alarming statistic:

Seatbelts — which have been obligatory in every car bought in the USA since 1968 — scale back the danger of fatal damage by 45 %. Additionally they scale back the danger of average to crucial damage by 50 %.

Yet in 2015, more than 50 % of teens who have been killed in motorcar accidents weren’t sporting one.

Take into consideration that for just a minute: If seatbelt use went to 100 %, 525 teenagers might’ve been saved in 2015 alone.

There’s merely no know-how on earth that’s as efficient as a seatbelt in preventing demise or catastrophic damage in an vehicle, however it needs to be worn to be effective.

The Bottom Line

For those who’ve acquired a teen at house who’s about to take the wheel, there’s some marginal difference in general security whether your teen purchases a automotive with advanced security know-how or not.

There is a main distinction in general security in case you can convince them to put on a seatbelt 100 % of the time.

There’s also a serious security profit if you will get them to avoid a collision within the first place. Step one in doing so is to enroll them in a driver coaching program that really teaches driving, moderately than learn how to use hand alerts properly.

We’ve evaluated packages from Kia and Ford, and we’ve additionally really helpful a program that was borne from the tragic deaths of NHRA Prime Gasoline Champion Doug Herbert’s sons, but there are tons of of others out there like them in your area.

Search for “teen driver crash avoidance” or “teen driver skid faculty” in your state, and also you’ll probably find one. For those who don’t, ship an e-mail to [email protected] and I’ll find one for you. Most of them charge a charge within the $200 to $250 range, but packages sponsored by producers or other entities are usually free.