10 Tips for Choosing Your Kid's First Car

Be Safe Out There
Newer cars go through stringent crash tests. (Creative Commons/Flickr/mariordo59)

There are a couple of agencies who really, truly do put crash test dummies into brand-new cars and smash the living bejeezus out of them. Several times. From every angle. Hard. Actually, it sounds like a super-cool job. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, better known as IIHS, has a Safety Picks list that gives a rather stingy "good" as its highest rating in five tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a 5-Star Safety Ratings program which measures (tests) the three most likely scenarios that cause deaths and serious injuries and rates the vehicles from one to five stars based on how they perform. More is (as always) better. As manufacturers improve their safety technology and design, the IIHS and NHTSA up their game to take those systems into account. Newer cars go through more stringent tests than older cars.

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