|By Don Stacom, The Hartford Courant|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"This important report shows clearly again the critical role that parents play to ensure their teen remains safe behind the wheel," motor vehicles Commissioner
The institutes newly released list of the safest cars for teen drivers is big on models like the Buick Verano, the Subaru Legacy and the Volkswagen Passat. Not surprisingly, stylish speed machines such as the Subaru WRX, the Dodge Challenger or Ford's Shelby GT500 don't make the cut.
The list also omits the super-small cars, which some families might think of first as a way to keep gas costs down. And older cars don't make the grade because they don't enough new safety equipment, even though teenagers and their families might find them the most affordable.
"A teenager's first car is more than just a financial decision," says
Lund's organization commissioned a national phone survey of parents of teen drivers; 83 percent of those who bought a car for their children got a used -- rather than new -- one. More than half of them purchased pre-2006 models.
"That's a problem because older vehicles are much less likely to have safety features such as electronic stability control and side airbags," the report's authors wrote.
The full report and a the list of safer cars is at http://tinyurl.com/kt5umhf.
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