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It is a sad fact that the majority of deaths for teenagers in our country are caused by car accidents. A recent study revealed that the types of cars that most teens drive may not be as safe as other cars. For Ohio parents, keeping their teen drivers even safer and potentially avoiding a fatal car accident may be as simple as purchasing a different car for them to drive.

The recent study found that teenagers are more likely to drive smaller cars than adults. Smaller cars generally do not provide as much crash protection as a larger, heavier vehicle. Out of drivers 15 to 17 years old who were killed in car accidents, 29 percent were driving a small car or a minicar. For the 35 to 50 age range, that number was only 20 percent.

Additionally, the study found that teenagers are also more likely to drive older cars than adults. The older the car, the more likely it is that the vehicle will not have improved safety technology such as side airbags and electronic stability control. A shocking 82 percent of teen drivers who lost their lives in a car accident were driving vehicles that were at least six years old. This statistic can be compared to only 77 percent for adults.

Protecting an Ohio teenager from losing his or her life in a fatal car accident may be as simple as following four criteria: purchase a vehicle with a high safety rating, make sure the vehicle has electronic stability control, purchase a larger vehicle that provides better crash protection and avoid purchasing a vehicle with a lot of horsepower. These criteria will undoubtedly be helpful for protecting the teen; however, if a fatal car crash should occur nonetheless, the family of the teen has legal options from which they can choose. The family may elect to file a wrongful death claim that, if successful, could provide financial relief for the monetary damages that typically arise from these tragedies.

Source: The New York Times, “Teenagers’ Cars Are Older, Smaller and Less Safe, Study Finds“, Cheryl Jensen, July 17, 2014