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Picking a Vehicle: Help Keep Your Teen Safe in a Tennessee Car Accident

Three Tennessee teens were recently injured when a wrong-way driver plowed into their vehicle. According to the Highway Patrol, the 17-year-old’s vehicle was hit head-on around 2:00 a.m. The driver of the other vehicle and one passenger of the teen vehicle were killed in the accident, according to ABC 11.

As parents, we worry about our new licensed teen drivers on the roadways. They are extremely vulnerable to car accidents in Tennessee as they are very inexperienced behind the wheel. Parents are urged to get involved in their teen’s learning process, including offering them plenty of supervised driving time and laying down ground rules to keep them safe. But there’s one additional step that a parent can take to help keep their teen safe in the event of a traffic accident.

Tennessee car accident attorneys encourage all parents to do their homework when thinking about your child’s first car. You’re going to want to think about purchasing a new or a used car, how often it will be driven and which type of vehicle can protect them best during an accident. It can be a long and involved task as there are so many available cars and so much to consider. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you get started.

First you’re going to want to figure out if you’d like to purchase a new or a used vehicle. While buying a new car will provide you will peace of mind and you’ll have the assurance of a warranty, new cars can get pretty pricey.

“A first time driver doesn’t need a new car, but of course they want one,” says Lori Mackey, president of Prosperity4Kids. “The depreciation, probability of fender benders and the price tag [means new] is not the most logical way to go.”

You are almost always better off buying a used vehicle. If you choose a certified pre-owned vehicle then you can still have the advantages of a new-car like warranty.

Yes, new cars will come with all the latest and high-tech safety features, but a late-model used vehicle will still have airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Used cars are less likely to come equipped with the type of power and performance that will overwhelm your teen, too.

“I see these young, inexperienced drivers in Mustangs, BMWs, and large SUVs. These automobiles are big, powerful and difficult to control for even experienced drivers. In the hands of a new driver, they can be deadly weapons,” says LeeAnn Shattuck, co-owner and chief car chick with Women’s Automotive Solutions.

Now it’s time to start thinking about what kind of car to look into.

This is a good time to start looking into safety and crash-test information. This type of information can be found on websites from organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You should also check out websites like J.D. Power and Associates for quality and reliability ratings.

“Don’t feel you have to buy the first car you see,” says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book.

You want to make sure you’re not only looking at smaller vehicles because they’re oftentimes cheaper. Smaller cars can less likely to protect passengers in the event of an accident, according to Forbes.

“The teens realize that their parents are involved in these decisions,” says Mike Wood, a vice president at Teenage Research Unlimited. “They’re a very pragmatic generation. A car is a purchase that has to satisfy their needs and get their parents’ approval at the same time. It’s not like going out and buying a pair of jeans.”

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a trucking accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.

More Blog Entries:

Officials Crack Down on Trucking Accidents in Tennessee and Elsewhere, Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2011

New Program Aims to Help Those Severely Injured in Tennessee Vehicle Accidents, Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, June 7, 2011

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