Before we buy our children cars we think about safety. Well, certainly I do. Handing a teen the keys to a car can feel like handing a child a loaded weapon. The good news is that there is a lot we can do to prepare them for the responsibility and a lot of purchases we can make to keep them safer.
In my household we have three cars. A Sportage for my daughter, a plug-in for hybrid for me, and a sports sedan for my husband. Our daughter was not permitted to drive my husband sports car for the first two years. It’s just more horsepower than a new driver needs. She is allowed to drive my and hybrid but with great reservation and some anxiety. I didn’t let her drive it until she been licensed for nearly a year.
The bottom line is that the kids are in and out of parking lots all the time and there are younger children walking behind the cars. Combine blind spots with a near silent vehicle and you have a recipe for disaster. On a regular basis I am driving through parking lots where pedestrians are blissfully unaware there that my car is behind them. I hesitate to tap on the horn because I don’t want to terrify them, but they simply don’t hear the car.
New drivers have a lot of distractions and many details to try and remember. Sometimes it’s just too much. My friends have asked me what I think about a hybrid or a plug-in vehicle for their new drivers and I share with them my reservation. I think that if you’re going to have your teen driving a car that makes no noise it’s really important to talk to them about the extra added responsibility watching for pedestrians who may be surprised to find they are there.