Vehicle Tips

Make Sure to Choose a Safe Vehicle for Your Teen

Most teens spend countless hours dreaming of getting their driver’s license and owning a car. When faced with this challenging decision of what car to buy, here are a few things to consider.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, and in 29% of those accidents the primary cause is speeding.1 Driving fast with turbochargers and high horsepower is even more dangerous. Selecting a vehicle with a four-cylinder engine and average horsepower can help ensure a safer ride and could even save your teenager’s life. In addition you could pocket some savings with a lower insurance rate.

1NHTSA,, Retrieved Feb. 15, 2016 from

Many parents mistakenly assume that trucks, vans and SUVs are the safest vehicles for teen drivers. The reality is that a high center-of-gravity makes them much less stable and more prone to rollovers2 than traditional mid-size sedans, so try to stay away from them.

2NHTSA,, Retrieved February 15, 2016 from

Many parents can’t afford to provide their teens with new or almost-new vehicles, but letting your teenager drive a car that is too old can be dangerous. If possible, try to provide your young driver with a 1997 or newer vehicle – the year airbags were required in all models. Also, look for other, more recent safety features, such as side airbags, anti-lock brakes and roll stability control.
Look at vehicle crash-test scores when shopping for a car; they tell you how well a vehicle can withstand front and side impacts, and prevent rollovers. Crash-test scores are approximate, but represent an excellent appraisal of how well the vehicle will protect its passengers in a car-crash. The National Highway Safety Administration’s vehicle safety site provides rates for a range of vehicles.

10 Safest and Most Affordable Vehicles to Insure for Teens

As parents, you don’t need to break the bank when it comes to selecting the right vehicle to insure for your teen driver. Mercury’s research and development team examined 2016 model year vehicles that received a 5-Star Safety Rating from NHTSA and cost less than $25,000 (MSRP) to come up with a list of the 10 safest and most affordable vehicles to insure for teen drivers.¹

¹The list was created based on Mercury’s price for full coverage – liability, comprehensive and collision – in California.

What Safety Features Should You Look For?

Newer, Non-standard Vehicle Safety Features

The automotive industry has developed a number of new active safety systems for today’s modern vehicles. Here are a few of the innovations in newer cars on the road now.

Standard Vehicle Safety Features

No matter what vehicle you decide on for your teen, be sure they know where, what and how to use these vehicle safety features.

Importance of Proper Maintenance

It’s important to make sure your car is in great working order through proper maintenance. Planned services based on your manufacturer mileage recommendations can help identify when individual parts are near or at the time to be replaced. Here are a few things to help you determine if you need to take your vehicle in for service: