With the holidays rapidly approaching, the Insurance Information Institute has released a number of tips for parents to consider when choosing vehicles appropriate for teenage drivers.
As our Chicago injury lawyers frequently report, teenagers are at the highest risk for being involved in a serious or fatal car accident in Chicago. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 5,864 drivers ages 15 to 20 were involved in fatal crashes in 2008. Illinois car accidents involving young drivers killed 164 motorists.
In recent days, two high-profile accidents involving young drivers in Chicago have been reported:
The Chicago Breaking News Center reports that a 17-year-old boy is on life support after being involved in a car accident in DuPage County. Police report the boy was driving a Volkswagen Jetta when he struck a Ford truck backing out of a residential driveway.
In a separate case, WGNTV reports a 17-year-old boy has been charged with reckless homicide after allegedly killing a woman asleep in her bed after driving drunk into the side of her house.
Choosing the right vehicle for your son or daughter is just one more way to help keep them safe on the road.
-Avoid vehicles that encourage reckless driving: Sports cars and other high-performance vehicles are often not appropriate. Teen drivers often lack experience and maturity. Such vehicles may encourage speeding. Selecting a vehicle with a modest image and reputation can help keep teens from being involved in a speed-related crash.
-Unstable vehicles can be hazards for teen drivers: Some SUVs offer less stability and a greater chance for rollover accidents. Abrupt steering maneuvers, which young drivers may be more prone to, can increase the risk of a skid, spin out or rollover accident.
-Good crash protection: As we have reported here previously, www.safecar.gov, Consumer Reports and other ratings agencies offer a look at how vehicles withstand crashes. Not all vehicles are created equal but safer vehicles can be found at any price point.
-Beware of small vehicles: While some vehicles of modest size may come with a good safety rating, smaller vehicles are generally not as safe as larger ones.
-Avoid older Vehicles: Modern vehicles offer far better crash protection than even those vehicles that are 6 to 10 years old.
Lastly, your choice of vehicle can have a substantial impact on the cost of insurance, which, if you have not yet priced, will certainly be an eye-opener. Most teen insurance polices start at several hundred dollars a month and can be much more expensive, depending on the type of vehicle you choose.
The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.