Tips to Help Your Teen Buy a Car

The kind of car your teenager drives is extremely important. Once your teen gets his or her driver’s license, they would inevitably want the freedom of having their own car. However, because of budget concerns, they may choose an older model, which might not have crucial safety features that come with modern car. While an older car might suit your budget and your teen’s, it is important to remember that not having critical safety features might potentially put your child at risk of serious injury in the event of a car accident.

Here are a few tips from our South Kingstown car accident lawyers to help your teen buy not just any car, but the right kind of car that will keep him or her safe:

  • Talk about money and budget before you head to the dealership. Before your son or daughter get all excited, talk to them about how much can be spent on the car. Teach them to factor in driving and maintenance costs. Discuss ways in which your teen can plan for meeting car-related expenses.
  • Be sure to accompany your child to the dealership. If you cannot go, send a friend or family member with them, someone who can guide them through the purchase and encourage them to make wise choices. Sometimes, salespersons may assume (rightly so) that a younger buyer may not know as much about purchasing vehicles. In the process and in their enthusiasm to get a vehicle off the lot, they may downplay the dangers posed by a car.
  • This could be an important teaching moment. Your child is likely buying a used vehicle. So, take the time to explain to them how they should take all the necessary measures to ensure they are buying a safe car. They should look up a car’s history to ensure it hasn’t been in serious accidents. They should also be looking at the safercar.gov website to see if the vehicle they are getting ready to buy is part of a safety recall. If it is, then, they should ensure that the particular safety defect has been fixed.
  • Teach your teen to make safety a priority. Don’t consider a vehicle with fewer than six airbags, the two required in front, plus side-curtain and side-impact airbags that help protect occupants’ heads and chests in the event of a crash. Antilock brakes and stability controls are also must-haves, especially if your teen has his or her heart set on a high-sitting crossover or SUV. Ask to see the original window sticker that came with the vehicle. Airbags should be marked with the letters SRS, which stand for supplemental restraint system.
  • Tell your teen to pay attention to vehicle safety ratings. Try to choose a car that scores at least four starts out of five on government crash tests, which you can look up at safercar.gov. In addition, you could go to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website (iihs.org) to find cars that have merited an overall “Good” rating or those designated a “Top Safety Pick.”

If your child has been injured in a car accident in South Kingstown, please contact an experienced car accident attorney who has experience handling local cases. We can help examine all aspects of your case and help determine your legal rights and options. Call 1–800–992–6878 to find out how the experienced injury lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates can help you.

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