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Teenagers are basically adults in training, but science shows that teens’ brains don’t finish developing until their mid-to-late 20s. In fact, the prefrontal cortex — the area that controls impulses, prioritizing, and planning — is the last part of the brain to mature. Because of teens’ growing noggins and inexperience behind the wheel, having a vehicle with advanced car safety features is crucial. Here are four essential car safety features to help protect teen drivers.

Blind-spot threat detection

Essential car safety features for teen drivers
A teen using a phone at the wheel | BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A blind-spot threat detection system helps prevent injuries and vehicle damage and reduces crashes during lane changes. Though a driver can quickly check blind spots before backing up or changing lanes, this action forces them to take their eyes off the road. 

Most teens are already distracted and stressed while driving, so checking blind spots means their eyes are off the road even longer. Thanks to blind-spot threat detection, teens turn their heads less often. 

According to I See Cars, several affordable vehicles have this advanced car safety feature. They include the 2017 Subaru Outback, 2015 Acura MDX, 2015 Volvo V60, and 2017 Toyota Prius.

Electronic stability control

Folks who don’t usually keep up with the technological advancements in cars will be surprised to learn that electronic stability control has been mandatory in most vehicles since 2012.

An electronic stability control system automatically applies the vehicle’s brakes when it detects sliding or skidding on a curvy road or slippery surface. Though this car safety feature might not prevent a rollover, it won’t automatically apply hard braking or steering. What it does is help prevent the loss of vehicular control in curves by stabilizing the vehicle.

The sensors read the vehicle’s direction and the steering wheel’s position and help correct the car’s position if the system detects the vehicle is veering off the path. 

Affordable used cars with electronic stability control features such as lane-keeping assist include the 2017 Honda Civic, 2017 Volvo S60, 2017 Honda Accord, and 2019 Subaru Impreza.

Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking

Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking (AEB) uses sensors to detect pedestrians or objects in front of the car and monitors the vehicle’s speed. If it detects an imminent collision, the system will provide a warning and then apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond to the alert or reacts slowly. 

AEB is an excellent car safety feature because not every driver can accurately judge distances, and many motorists drive faster than they should. 

Reliable used models with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking include the 2017 Honda Civic, 2017 Volvo S60, 2017 Honda Accord, and 2019 Subaru Impreza.

Rear cameras

Back-up cameras have been mandatory in new vehicles since mid-2018, and even the most conscientious motorist still finds them useful. With a rear camera, the driver no longer has to wonder whether a person or object is right behind the vehicle. 

The best cars for teens with a backup camera include the 2015 Acura RDX, 2015 Honda Pilot, 2019 Subaru Impreza, and 2017 Toyota Prius, according to I See Cars.

Though we can’t remove every hazard on the road to protect teens, we can ensure their cars keep them as safe as possible. Making a good choice for your teen’s first car can help you retain peace of mind and give them a good experience that will make them better drivers.


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