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Parents, here’s a list of safe, affordable vehicles for your teen

Statistics tell a grim story about young drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers is motor vehicle crashes. The CDC says that 2,64 teens aged 16-19 were killed in crashes in 2017. Approximately 300,000 teens were treated in ERs for injuries they suffered in crashes.

That means that six teens died every single day in wrecks and about 800 per day were injured.

Parents have conflicting concerns

Parents of teenagers are torn in two directions: the bleak auto accident data is worrisome, but teens have undeniable transportation needs for school, work, friends and more. Many parents opt to buy or hand down a used vehicle to their teenager, along with a good dose of earnest advice about safe driving.

Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have teamed up to help parents and teens make good decisions when shopping for vehicles. The two organizations recently published a list of recommended used vehicles that are equipped with needed safety features, and are both reliable and affordable.

The list is especially useful at this time of year, when parents and teens are preparing for a new school year. Though Toms River schools are beginning the year remotely, teen transportation needs can’t be resolved online.

Older, smaller vehicles

Researchers have found that though teen drivers are among those at greatest risk of being involved in serious car accidents, they are frequently behind the wheel of older, smaller vehicles that typically lack essential features (side airbags, stability control, etc.) as well as the bulk that keeps drivers and passengers safer.

The Consumer Reports and IIHS list contains 65 used vehicles that range in price from $5,300 to $19,600. Though the list was generated for teen drivers, it can also be very useful for adults in the market for a used ride as well.

A look at the list

We’re including some of the most affordable vehicles from the list, along with model years and prices. (Parents, take note: there are no sports cars or vehicles with tremendous horsepower: those vehicles are too tempting and dangerous for inexperienced, young drivers.)

Small cars

  • Mazda 3 (2014 and newer): $7,000
  • Subaru Impreza (2014 and newer): $8,700
  • Hyundai Elantra GT (2018 and newer): $14,000

Midsize cars

  • Subaru Legacy (2013 and newer): $7,600
  • Subaru Outback (2013 and newer): $8,500
  • Honda Accord sedan and coupe (2013): $9,200

Small SUVs

  • Mazda CX-5 (2014 and newer): $8,200
  • Buick Encore (2016 and newer): $10,700
  • Chevrolet Equinox (2016 and newer): $12,100

There are many more vehicles on the list, which can be viewed in its entirety here.

The goal is not only to keep young drivers safe, but to keep those who share New Jersey streets, roads and highways safe as well.