Teen driver deaths more likely in older, smaller cars

Teen driver deaths more likely in older, smaller cars

A new study documents bad news: Teen drivers involved in car crashes are more likely to die. This is because their cars are typically older and smaller. The study by researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that almost half of drivers aged 15 to 17 who died in car crashes had cars at least 11 years old, and almost one-third drove small cars.

Teens are more likely to own smaller, older cars because theyêre less expensive. And older cars donêt have the same safety features included in most current models, such as electronic stability control and side air bags. The study of crashes from 2008 to 2012 found that 82 percent of teenagers killed in car crashes were driving cars at least six years old.

Electronic stability control cuts the risk of a single-car fatal crash approximately in half. But the IIHS estimates that it takes 30 years from the introduction of a new safety technology to the time when it is in 95 percent of the vehicles on the road.

IIHS says these models are good choices for teenagers: Hyundai Azera (MY 2006 and later), Volkswagen Passat (2006 to 2008), Saab 9-3 (2005 and later), Suzuki Grand Vitara (2006 and later) and Kia Sedona (2006 and later).

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