IIHS Says Bigger Cars To Keep Young Drivers Safe


There’s something of a reversal and mixed signals being sent by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) following the release of their recommended used car list for young drivers.

We’ve always known that larger vehicles are inherently safer given girth and weight but the last 10 years have demonstrated how much safer all cars are compared to what they were like only 20 years ago.

From the IIHS website: “We know safety is just one of the factors people consider when choosing a vehicle, but we hope parents will give it extra consideration when purchasing a vehicle for a teenager,” says Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research. “Teen drivers are at greater risk, due to immaturity and inexperience behind the wheel.”

The confusing indications come from the fact that the larger vehicles are generally-speaking more powerful than smaller ones thus are capable of higher speeds and greater acceleration. They also consume more fuel but the point is that since teens are inexperienced, they should get a larger vehicle to do more damage but be safer. At least that’s what we’re taking away from the story.

The IIHS has released a list of recommended vehicles for teens, the safer ones, and while some are affordable because they are older, they also happen to be some incredibly unreliable cars from their respective eras, with elevated maintenance costs.

This whole story seems very narrow and while I take safety very seriously (I am father of two very young children), it will never be the main reason for purchasing a car or SUV. No one plans to be in an accident but we do plan on road trips, for example, and keeping to a budget.

Are we the only ones that see these mixed signals?


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