Keeping your teen driver safe on the road

Ford vs. Honda: Which brand is best for your teen driver this year?

One of the most exciting (maybe terrifying) things you’ll do as a parent is hand your teen the keys to a car.  Any car.  A car offers greater freedom for your teen (and hey, at least you don’t have to worry about carpooling anymore).  But then again, that doesn’t mean you won’t do everything in your power to make sure your teen has the safest ride possible.

We’re going to explore the differences in safety features between Ford and Honda to help you decide which car offers greater safety for your teen driver. The Insurance Institute for Highways Safety (IIHS) is always a great place to start in our opinion. Their mission is to identify the safest vehicles on the road each year according to a certain set of criteria.

Cars that score well on safety tests earn rating as Top Safety Picks by the organization. Those that exceed the minimum standards and/or meet additional standards for safety, earn the coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating in their categories. The categories assigned by the IIHS include:

  • Minicars
  • Small Cars
  • Midsize Cars
  • Midsize Luxury Cars
  • Large Cars
  • Large Luxury Cars
  • SUVs: Small, Midsize, Midsize Luxury
  • Minivans
  • Large Pickups

One thing that’s really important to remember: You should consider IIHS safety picks in a bit of a bubble. Traditionally, larger vehicles fair better in accidents than smaller ones. A larger vehicle that didn’t make the list may, in fact, be safer than a smaller vehicle that did. When buying for teen drivers, parents often opt for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Although that’s nice for the wallet, from a safety perspective alone, you may want something a little bit sturdier.

Ford safety features

Teen drivers encounter tons of distractions. Even if you stress the importance of not using cellphones while driving, you have no idea what your teen is doing when you’re out of sight. Ford has the Ford Safe and Smart package that includes a variety of technologies designed to help your teen driver cut through the noise of many common distractions. Features include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (with collision warning).
  • Lane Keeping System (with some models actually steering teens back in their lanes).
  • Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert (to alert teen drivers when switching lanes is not a safe move).
  • Forward Collision Warning (that pre-charges brakes for increased sensitivity in case responders don’t react quickly enough).
  • Electronic Stability Control (to keep all tires in contact with the road and avoiding sliding.

Several 2018 Fords do offer other safety features, such as tire pressure monitoring systems, cross-traffic alert notifications, and adaptive high beam headlights. While there aren’t any Ford models that earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings for 2018, every model tested by the organization was awarded either a four or five-start safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which puts vehicles through its own rigorous testing standards. You can search the specific vehicles on NHTSA’s website..

Honda safety features

The Honda brand is committed to safety on two fronts. Their vehicles are equipped with both active safety technologies and passive safety features. The two work together to create safer vehicles for drivers and passengers on the road.

Active Safety Features from Honda
Many of these safety features are standard on all Honda vehicles after 2017 and can make a huge world of difference for the safety of your teen.

  • Multi-angle rearview camera (provides three different angles to offer better views of what’s going on behind you when shifting into reverse).
  • Active stability systems (including brake assist, vehicle stability assist with traction control, anti-lock brakes, and electronic brake distribution).
  • Honda Sensing Features that offer driver assistance including the following:
  • Collision mitigation braking system.
  • Road departure mitigation system.
  • Forward collision warning.
  • Lane departure warning.

Passive Safety Features from Honda
Honda also offers a variety of passive safety features designed to protect the people in vehicles when accidents cannot be avoided. These features include things like:

  • Advanced airbag technology.
  • Advanced design features for car bodies that protect the occupants by distributing the energy of the crash more efficiently.
  • Seatbelt technology designed to offer sufficient protection while reducing the pressure applied to occupant’s chest.

There are five Honda models earning 2018 Top Safety Picks ratings on the IIHS ratings scale. They include the following:

  • 2018 Honda Accord (with specific headlights)
  • 2018 Honda CR-V (with specific headlights and optional front crash prevention)
  • 2018 Honda Pilot (with optional front crash prevention and with specific headlights)
  • 2018 Honda Odyssey (with specific headlights and optional front crash prevention)
  • 2018 Honda Ridgeline (with optional front crash prevention and with specific headlights)

Like Ford, many Honda models also earned four and five-star ratings from the NHTSA in case you want to compare specific models.

Insuring your teen driver

No matter how careful you are in selecting a car for teen drivers, accidents can still happen.  Whether you choose a Ford or a Honda for your teen driver, insurance is going to be a big deal for your family moving forward. Car insurance is a necessity that everyone needs when they own more than own car, and as inconvenient as it might be to insure all your cars, it’s something that can really protect you when you least expect it.

But insuring more than one car can quickly add up. To cut costs, consider insurance companies like Elephant who provide discounts for insuring more than one car. Depending on which state you live in, you could save up to 20 or 30 percent on your car insurance just by insuring more than one car.

And, we understand insuring a teen driver sounds expensive. But choosing vehicles that offer advanced safety features can help cut costs too. So besides keeping your teen extra safe, you can also save more on insurance when you have advanced safety features like:

  • Backup cameras
  • Lane detection and keeping technologies
  • Bluetooth connections
  • Crash avoidance technologies
  • Brake assistance technologies

Insuring a teen driver shouldn’t cost you an arm and leg. Here’s how you can keep those insurance premiums low even with a teen driver on your policy.

Save when you insure more than one car.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It does not replace or modify the information contained in your insurance policy.