Is your teen driving a safe car? GEICO offers tips on what vehicles best suit new drivers

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 23, 2014 – GEICO wants parents to know that along with modeling and reinforcing good behavior behind the wheel, the type of vehicle their teen drives greatly impacts safety according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Important Safety Features for a Teen's Car:
While airbags are important, particularly side airbags, they're not the only safety feature to look for when buying a teen's car. Electronic stability control (ESC) is essential because it allows the driver to maintain control on curves and slippery roads. ESC can apply the brakes and regulate engine power to keep the vehicle on course and prevent a sideways skid from occurring. It significantly reduces the chances of a roll-over crash, and can help an inexperienced driver recover after making an error. This safety feature reduces injury on a level comparable to seatbelts.

The Type of Vehicle Matters:
Larger, heavier cars are best for teens because they offer the most protection in a collision, and statistics show that teens are less likely to crash them. Parents should avoid high horsepower models, as they can tempt teens to speed and drive recklessly—a dangerous combination for a new driver.

Furthermore, parents should consider crash test ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and IIHS. Vehicles that earn four and five star rankings from NHTSA and at least a TOP SAFETY PICK designation from IIHS are best suited for teen drivers because testing has proven them to offer the most protection in a crash.

Parents can find a list of the safest used vehicles for teens here as well as additional educational, free downloadable material to help new drivers at http://www.geicoteendriving.com/

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.