- Electronic stability control. This feature uses braking and engine power to bring a car back under control. It's particularly important for teens, because they tend to overcorrect when they start to lose control of their vehicles, which often happens when they're driving too fast. Automakers were required to start installing stability control on cars with the 2009 model year, and all 2012 models had to have the feature. It was already quite common by the time the government required it. Even some 10-year-old used luxury cars have stability control.
- Side air bags. Teens are among the most likely to get themselves involved in what's known as a single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crash. These aren't the most common crashes, but they are among the deadliest, because they often lead to rollovers. Side-impact air bags are a must, but side-curtain bags are, too, as they help protect the head if the car flips over.
- Front-collision warning or mitigation. Frontal collisions may not be the most deadly, but they are a type that teens are likely to get into. This feature uses sensors to detect other vehicles a driver may not see, then warns — and in some cars, brakes — when a crash is imminent. Volvo, for example, offered this feature in 2010 on its XC60, then put it on most of its 2011 models.
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