For many Florida teens, a first used car is a sign of freedom – but could that car be increasing teens’ risk for Florida car accidents, too? According to a 2008 survey by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual, 27% of teens drive used cars that are at least 12 years old and another 60% of teens drive cars that are seven years old or older. According to safety experts, this can be a concern, since older cars may lack newer safety features which can help prevent collisions and which can help prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. According to experts, parents and teens looking for a used car need to consider the following before driving away:
1) Only consider cars with standards safety features. Stability control, antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, and airbags can help prevent collisions and injuries. It may take extra time to find a car with these features, especially if you are on a budget, but it is well worth considering these features when shopping.
2) Check the head restrains. Head restrains which adjust correctly are important for helping prevent many Florida brain injuries.
3) Check the integrity of existing systems. Are the seat belts in good condition, for example? Are the tires new and in good shape? Even if the tires look fine, you may want to consider replacing the tires on a used car. Tires older than five years – even if driven rarely – can be unsafe because they have deteriorated.
4) Research makes and specific cars. Read consumer reviews and reports about the safety standards of any make and model you are considering. Are there known safety features? Has the model been recalled? If so, were the necessary adjustments made on the specific car you are considering to fix the problem? Get the VIN number and get a history of the car. Any car that has been in a serious accident may be compromised.
5) Consider a larger car. Larger cars may protect the driver more than smaller economy-sized cars do.
If your teen has been injured in a car accident, you need to safeguard your teen’s rights and future. Your teen may lose weeks of school, require additional tutoring or counseling, and may face high medical bills. If your teen has sustained a permanent injury, this may affect your teen’s earning power before a career has even begun. Contact the compassionate and experienced team at the Flaxman Law Group before you sign any rights away. An initial consultation is free and is free of any obligations. Get answers and advice so that you can make an informed decision. The Flaxman Law Group has worked with Florida car accident victims in the Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead communities for years and may be able to help your family.