Consider a Safe Car As a New Driver

Published: September 12, 2015

Updated: May 15, 2018

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There are plenty of obstacles for new drivers, not least having to pass your test to become a legal road user. On the journey to becoming a driver in Canada you will be considering car insurance and how much you need to pay, no matter how old you are when looking for insurance as a new driver.

While age and other criteria are important when car insurance companies calculate premiums, the vehicle you choose will also be important. One way to get on the good side of insurance providers is to choose a car that has a good safety record and is highly regarded in the industry. Aside from appeasing the car insurance companies, a safe car will give you peace of mind, especially if you drive a lot or have a family.

Of course, not every potential car owner puts safety as a priority, and indeed even vehicle manufacturers tend to point consumers to other things, such as design, performance, and other factors. In general cars today are safer than they were 20 or even 10 years ago, but there are some that are safer than others and provide protection in myriad circumstances.

Needless to say, opting for safety over other factors will possibly depend on what kind of new driver you are, and perhaps what age you are. It goes without saying that in most cases young drivers will want something that does offer performance and aesthetic and may not even look at safety at all. New drivers who are older may be more prudent in selecting a car and put safety for them and their families as a higher priority.

However, even if you are a young driver there is no need in 2015 to have an unsafe car. There is little compromise today, even good-looking hatchbacks and minicars can be extremely safe in most cases. These desirable and safe cars include the Ford Focus, Mini Cooper, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Golf and many more in the small car class. In other words, a safe car does not have to be a “boring” car.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) puts all new vehicles through intense crash tests and measures a vast array of metrics. It is not necessary for you to know or even understand all these safety dynamics, but upon considering a new car it is worth heading to the IIHS website to see their safety record for the vehicle in question.

In the meantime, these are some of the main safety features to look out for:

  • Antilock brakes.
  • Side airbags.
  • Electronic stability control.
  • Roof strength.
  • Head injury prevention devices.
  • All-wheel drive.
  • Traction control.