August is one of the deadliest months on America’s roads. In 2011, August ranked as the third deadliest month with 2,982 traffic related deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
August is also the month millions of American teenagers return to school, many of them as new drivers. And sadly, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. In 2010, seven teenagers ages 16-19 died every day from motor vehicle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Seven. Every. Day.
Safety in Ratings
As a concerned parent, you probably wonder constantly what you can do to keep your teen safe on the road. While you can’t always be there to ensure their safety or guide their decisions, you can increase their chances of surviving an accident by putting them in a safe automobile.
As luck would have it (okay, luck played no role — I planned it this way) the IIHS recently awarded six vehicles with their highest rating – Top Safety Pick+. Whether your teenager is a new driver or has already logged several hundred miles, these safety-conscious vehicles may be a good choice for both their safety and your peace of mind.
- Honda Civic 2-Door – 2013
- Honda Civic 4-Door – 2013
- Dodge Dart – 2013
- Ford Focus 4-Door – 2014
- Hyundai Elantra – 2013
- Scion tC – 2014
Dozens of other vehicles received the Top Safety Pick award, just one notch below the top mark (note the missing ‘+’). You can view the entire list here.
For You, The Parent (Because Your Safety Matters, Too)
Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors recently received a 5-Star Safety Rating from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, Tesla went on via this press release to boast about receiving the agency’s highest rating and claim it was actually the “best safety rating of any car ever tested” with a mark of 5.4 stars.
The NHTSA took exception to this claim and issued a statement in effect calling BS on Tesla’s claim. It stated the agency does not rate vehicles beyond 5 stars. Regardless, the Tesla Model S is an exceptional car from a rising car company. Pick one of these up and your teen may not mind you dropping her off at school every once in a while.