October 19th, 2020 by

If you have a new driver in the family, we know how nerve wracking it can be sometimes to let go of the reins and hand over your keys. Investing in a car with great safety ratings is a good way to grant yourself peace of mind that your teen is well protected while on the road. We highly recommend the Chevy Equinox for new drivers, as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named this model one of the best cars for teenage drivers from a safety and reliability standpoint. This award was given to Equinox models starting in 2016 and continuing onward, so even buying a used Chevy to save some money will guarantee a high level of safety!

Every year, the IIHS will publish a list of vehicles that are deemed the safest choices for teen drivers. Multiple metrics are combined to decide which cars which actually make the cut. Components like handling, safety systems, crash-worthiness, and more are all factored into the decision making process. The Equinox has been hailed as a great option for teen’s first vehicle for many reasons, including its fuel efficiency, affordable retail price, and extensive safety features. Learn more about why this compact crossover may be the next car in your garage.

Teen Driver Technology

Chevy’s Teen Driver Technology is a built-in system that allows you as a parent to set certain restrictions while your teen is in the driver’s seat. The system works even when you are not present in the car with your new driver, so you can slowly ease them into the world of driving without breathing down the back of their neck. The Equinox will know that your teen is driving and it is time to engage Teen Driver Mode because their key fob is paired to the system. This means when other, more experienced, drivers need to use the crossover, simply use a different key fob and enjoy the normal driving experience of an Equinox.

The Buckle To Drive feature with the Equinox is an industry first, requiring your teen to buckle their seat belt before shifting out of park. Chevy felt this feature was necessary to design and implement with the Equinox because only 61% of high school students were found to wear seat belts when riding with someone else. Buckle To Drive is a great way to make wearing a seat belt a habit for your new driver, whether in the driver’s seat or as a passenger in someone else’s car.

The speed warning and speed limiter features work to avoid excessive speeding with your teen. Speed warning will give an audible and visual warning if your teen goes over a pre-selected speed, and the speed limiter will restrict maximum vehicle speed to 85 miles per hour. Another study investigating teen driver habits found that 93% of teens play loud and distracting music while behind the wheel. With Chevy’s audio limit, you can put a lid on the maximum volume allowed while your teen is in the car. Another audio feature with Teen Driver Technology is the seat belt audio mute which will silence all audio until both the driver and front seat passenger have clicked their belts.

A final feature with Teen Driver Technology is the in-vehicle report card. The Equinox will monitor your teen’s driving and collect data to showcase in a concise report that you can access via the Equinox’s 7 inch touch screen display. Checking in on this report every so often is a great way to gauge your teen’s progress. If you find that they are still speeding, or driving recklessly, you can continue to use Teen Driver Mode. On the other hand, if your teen is showing responsibility and safe driving habits, it may be time to step back and give them more independence!

Safety Assist

Chevy Safety Assist is a combination of six safety features that work together as a preventative for potential hazards. This system works to keep drivers aware of their surroundings from every angle, and is especially useful for teens who have not had much experience on the road yet. This package is now standard on all 2020 models of the Equinox, no matter which trim level you purchase. Forward collision alerts with automatic emergency braking work at speeds under 50 miles per hour to gauge if a frontal collision is imminent. If your Equinox detects that you are getting dangerously close to the vehicle ahead of you, it will automatically apply hard emergency braking or enhance the driver’s hard braking to avoid a crash. Similarly, if a pedestrian is detected in front of your vehicle, the Equinox will provide the same safety assistance.

Lane keep assist with lane departure warning is a great feature that all drivers can benefit from, especially on busy highways. We all know that checking our blind spot and signaling are important habits before changing lanes, but sometimes fatigue or mindlessness lead us to forget these practices. With this system, the Equinox will provide a quick and gentle turn of the steering wheel to alert you if it senses you are drifting out of your lane unintentionally. You can also receive audible warnings to keep you steering safely in the center of your lane. Lane assistance alerts will not be given if you use a turn signal, or if your vehicle detects you are intentionally steering.

Another useful feature on the highway is the following distance indicator. It can be tricky, especially for new drivers, to gauge the distance between their vehicle and the car in front of them. Driver safety guidelines recommend that everyone keeps a three second following distance to allow enough reaction time in the case of a potentially dangerous situation. Chevy’s following distance indicator shows the driver their gap time in seconds from a detected vehicle ahead so they can adjust their speed and following distance accordingly.

The last pillar of Chevy’s Safety Assist bundle is Intellibeam. This auto high beam assistance feature can turn high beams on or off depending on surrounding traffic conditions. For example, when driving at night with high beams on, the Equinox will switch to normal headlights temporarily if oncoming traffic is detected. Turning off high beams is a courtesy meant to avoid distracting other drivers who may not be able to see the road adequately with extremely bright lights coming towards them.

A Well-Rounded First Pick For Your Teen

The Equinox’s safety systems are a great reason to purchase this car if you have a new driver in the family, but there are many other perks that make this car so enticing. Retail for this vehicle starts out at $24,995, making it a steal for a crossover of this caliber. Fuel economy for the Equinox is fiercely economical at 26 mpg city/31 mpg highway. A car with this kind of efficient mileage is a great option for teens who may be chipping in for gas money and want to get more bang for their buck. All things considered, we think the Equinox is a fantastic choice for your teen’s first ride. This kind of crossover can grow with your teen for years, keeping them safe and offering great gas efficiency wherever their Equinox may take them.

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