Top safety features for young drivers

March 11, 2015 08:59 AM

When it comes to choosing the right vehicle to invest in, drivers have a lot to consider. Among the biggest concerns is safety - particularly if the person in the driver's seat is a teen. These young people are at high risk for accidents due to inexperience and other distractions, which makes driving a vehicle filled with high-quality safety features incredibly important. 

But what are some of the most effective amenities drivers should be looking for? Here are five qualities prospective buyers should consider as they shop around. 

1. Electronic stability control 
Consumer Reports noted that electronic stability control is one of the most important features a car can have. This service kicks in to prevent rollover crashes or spin-outs, keeping the vehicle firmly on the road even in times of danger. The benefits of ESC don't stop there, however. It typically works with antilock brakes and better traction control, according to the source, providing ample security on the roads. 

While ESC became mandatory for new vehicles beginning in 2012, it was present on many automobiles in previous years, so it's relatively easy to find. Make sure you're looking for options that have ESC complete with complementary features. 

2. All-over air bags 
Any car will have front air bags, but if you're looking for more comprehensive protection, search for a vehicle with side and curtain air bags as well. These buffers work to keep a passenger secure inside a car regardless of where the collision occurs. Blocking windows and doors can prevent further harm from happening to a driver or passenger, so it's important to search for this perk if you prioritize safety. 

3. Regular brake service
Braking quickly and efficiently is integral to safety. Drivers should look for cars that have a history of reliable brake service and boast good stopping distances. Sticking to a schedule for vehicle maintenance is also important. Check out the car's history to ensure it has been serviced regularly. This report can also inform you as to any accidents in its past, which then allows you to make sure all necessary repairs have been taken care of. 

4. The right segment 
Consumer Reports also suggested drivers think seriously about the type of segment they choose to invest in. Midsize or large sedans are often the top choice. These automobiles offer a sturdy size and weight, which can be very beneficial with regard to safety. They are also a good alternative to larger SUVs, as the center of gravity is lower and the risk of rollovers may be reduced, according to Consumer Reports. 

5. Room to learn 
Cars for young drivers should have features that make it easy to learn and gain experience on the roads. Some models may come equipped with tons of safety features, but they also should be easy to drive and have a limited number of distractions. For instance, state-of-the-art connectivity or hands-free technology may sound good, but they can prove to be overly distracting - especially to inexperienced drivers. 

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