Safety Risks for Teens: Buying Old, Cheap Cars

In addition to inexperience, distracted driving, and the pressures of drugs and alcohol, young drivers may face another additional danger when on the road–old, unsafe vehicles. Due to financial constraints, many teenage drivers will save up a few thousand dollars and buy old, cheap cars, just to get around. Unfortunately, many of these older vehicles can pose additional safety hazards and increase the risk of accidents among teens.

After paying initial costs, young drivers may feel a crunch from insurance companies because they cannot afford to insure newer cars. Older vehicles could pose additional safety hazards and may not be built to protect a driver or passenger in the event of an accident. Our Spartanburg car accident attorneys are experienced in representing young drivers who have been injured. We are dedicated to keeping all drivers safe on the road and raising awareness to prevent accidents whenever possible.


Turning 16 is an important right of passage for any young adult. For most teenagers, it will be years before they finish their education and have the income to invest in a new vehicle. Unfortunately, though purchasing a “beater” for a first-car can feel like an accomplishment–it can also be a risk. Many teens have found themselves driving unsafe vehicles because they cannot afford a new car.

According to new research, nearly half of young drivers feel that they have been forced to buy less advanced motor vehicles because of insurance costs. Newer models cost a significant amount more to insure, forcing teens to choose between safety and costs. Analysts suggest that older model vehicles contribute to the high rate of accidents involving drivers under the age of 24. Studies show that drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 are in more car accidents than in any other age group. This makes up a total of 18 percent of all car accidents in the United States every year. Twenty-two percent of all accidents that resulted in fatalities involve drivers under the age of 24.

Insurance companies vary rates based on the age of the driver, the make and model of a vehicle, and a driver’s traffic incident and accident history. Teenagers are notoriously charged higher premiums because of their age. Many of these teens have chosen an older car despite the reality that this increases the risk of accidents and injuries. Safety issues and failed maintenance can also increase the risk of fatality in the event of an accident.

Most teens consider a car a valuable and important component of establishing their independence and freedom. Four out of five teens rely on their parents for financial support to get a first car. If you know a teen that is investing in a first-car, keep in mind that reducing insurance costs or getting a car at a lower price may not be worth the safety risk. If you are the parent of the teen, consider signing for a loan or making other compromises to help your teen invest in a safe automobile, rather than one that is simply affordable. Parents may also want to consider new black box technology which tracks driver behavior to reduce insurance premiums.

If your teen was injured in a car accident, contact the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

School Bus Accidents Still Cause for Concern, NHTSA Reports
, North Carolina Car Accident Blog, May 27, 2013

Bus Driver Cited After Accident in Currituck County, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, January 30, 2012

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