According to the data we analyzed, there are five car brands that seem to have a higher instance of injuries following a teen car crash. The brand associated with the greatest likelihood of crash injuries was Oldsmobile. About 17 percent of teens who crashed while driving an Oldsmobile had injuries. Chrysler, Pontiac, Chevrolet and Honda followed closely behind Oldsmobile.
Three of the top five brands on this list are or were owned by General Motors: Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Chevrolet. However, it’s important to note that Oldsmobile and Pontiac cars have been discontinued since 2004 and 2010, respectively. This means that the models still on the road today are older and likely have fewer technological and safety advances than cars produced more recently.
Some cars are considered unsafe because of structural deficiencies, while older cars may have fewer technologies such as lane-keeping assist or blind spot detection that could help reduce crashes. Manufacturer negligence can lead to safety problems. For instance, Chrysler had to pay for failing to recall unsafe cars in 2015.8
Three of the five car models that were associated with injuries in teen driver crashes were compact or subcompact cars. Though small cars are attractive due to their fuel efficiency and overall costs, they aren’t the safest cars. Unfortunately, according to the IIHS, drivers are more likely to die in a compact car than a larger car. Large SUVs had the lowest overall death rate in recent studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
On the other hand, there are several car brands that seem to do a better job of protecting occupants than others. According to CRSS data, 83 percent of teens involved in crashes with Audi cars had no apparent injuries. Around 81 percent of those driving Volvos or Cadillacs (another General Motors company) also had no reported injuries from their crashes.
All of these top-rated brands have earned either five-star NHTSA ratings on multiple models or have cars that are IIHS Top Safety Picks. These brands are also committed to supplying the latest driver-assist technology. However, you still have to do your research among various models, as every manufacturer can have some in their offerings that don’t measure up.
Most of the five models with fewest injuries were SUVs, which means they have a larger size and are higher from the ground. Research shows these cars tend to be safer than smaller cars in a crash. This may make them more popular with teen drivers and their parents.