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IIHS: Teens Should Avoid Driving Small Cars

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Crash testing at IIHS (Courtesy IIHS) Crash testing at IIHS (Courtesy IIHS)
Crash testing at IIHS (Courtesy IIHS) Crash testing at IIHS (Courtesy IIHS)
Jessica Cicchino Jessica Cicchino
GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in Greene County is out with new recommendations for the safest vehicles for teenage drivers.

It's common to pass down cars or buy smaller ones for teenagers, but the new report says that may not be the best when it comes to safety. IIHS says generally, bigger and heavier vehicles are best, with good roof strength ratings.

The institute recently tested small cars and larger, used cars in a front-to-front crash test. Results showed that the smaller cars didn't hold well against the larger ones.

“We have two, new requirements this year for our list. On our good choices list, vehicles are required for the first time to get a good rating on our roof strength test. And on our best choices list, we're now narrowing down the list by looking at insurance losses,” said Jessica Cicchino, vice president for research. “These results show that a larger, used vehicle can be a better choice than a smaller, newer vehicle even if they're the same price.”

All of the 115 recommended vehicles are midsize or larger. IIHS says vehicles that have substantially higher-than-average injury insurance losses didn't appear on their best choices list.

The IIHS reports teen drivers have crash rates higher than drivers over 20 years old.

In addition to the avoiding smaller cars, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also advised parents to stay away from vehicles with high horsepower.

“Teens like to take risk, and a high horsepower can tempt them to test its limits,” said Cicchino.