Parents worry about their young drivers, and statistics show their concern is justified. According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States.
The best way to keep your teens safe on the road is to make sure they’ve had adequate instruction on safe driving practices. A certified driving teacher can provide lots of helpful information. In addition to professional driving instruction, most states require novice drivers to rack up a set amount of driving hours with a parent or guardian.
Taking these steps will go a long way toward keeping your teen safe on the road, but there’s another measure you can take for extra protection: a car equipped with features that monitor and support young drivers. You won’t always be able to ride along with your teens when they’re on the road, and these features can help reinforce safer driving habits when your young driver is traveling without your watchful presence. Certain features also can be used as teaching aids. These features compile reports that analyze driving habits so you can discuss them with your teen and strategize methods for improvement.
Features offering this kind of assistance for teen drivers are relatively recent, but they’ve been on the market long enough to ensure their availability in used cars. If you’re interested in buying a used car that’s equipped with amenities that support young drivers, you’ll want to take a look at these three picks.
2017 Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra is one of the most capable and impressive compact sedans on the market, and it was fully redesigned for the 2017 model year. Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car System is available on the Elantra, which you can use to monitor your teen driver.
With Blue Link, you can set curfews for young drivers, and the system will send you alerts via text, email or phone message if the curfew is broken. Blue Link allows you to remotely monitor your teen driver’s speed, and it will send you an alert if a set speed is exceeded. Blue Link also includes a geofencing feature that notifies you if your teen’s vehicle enters or leaves certain preset regions.
In addition to Blue Link, the Elantra offers helpful driver-assistive features that support your teen on the road. These include amenities such as forward-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane-departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
2016-2017 Chevrolet Malibu
Offering handsome sheet metal and a spacious interior, the Chevy Malibu is a top choice for shoppers seeking a midsize sedan. Last redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Malibu offers a wealth of useful, up-to-date amenities.
One of those amenities is a Teen Driver feature that allows you to set a host of parameters for your young driver. This feature will issue audible and visual warnings to teens if they exceed a preselected speed. It also allows you to set limits on the stereo’s audio volume, which is helpful if you worry about your teen driving with the sound system cranked up to unsafe levels. The Teen Driver system also keeps an eye on your teen’s driving practices and allows you to create a report card that shows statistics such as distance driven, maximum speed and the total number of overspeed warnings.
The Malibu also is available with optional driver-assistive features such as blind-spot warning and forward-collision mitigation. If your sedan is equipped with these amenities, the Teen Driver feature will make sure they’re always engaged when your youngster is behind the wheel.
2013-2017 Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion was last redesigned in the 2013 model year, and the current generation is a leader among midsize sedans. The Fusion sets itself apart with elegant styling, poised handling and thoroughly modern feature content.
One feature that’s sure to appeal to parents of young drivers is the Fusion’s standard MyKey amenity. MyKey allows you to set a speed limit for young drivers. Once the speed limit has been reached, the driver won’t be able to override it. MyKey also allows you to set limits on the stereo’s audio volume, and it includes a “Do Not Disturb” feature that allows you to prevent young drivers from receiving incoming calls or text messages while they’re on the road.
The Fusion is available with useful active safety features. These include adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning system and forward-collision mitigation.
Educating teens regarding safe driving habits is an ongoing process, and it requires a consistent approach.
Choosing a car with amenities that offer guidance and support for young drivers is one valuable step you can take to help your teen steer clear of mishaps on the road.