Posts Tagged ‘NHSTA’

Top Cars for Teens driven by safety, reliability and price suggests AAA Auto Buying experts

ORLANDO, Fla., (June 14, 2012) –  For most new teen drivers buying a car is likely influenced by  speed, style, color and brand. For teen parents, it’s a focus on safety and reliability while not breaking the bank.  Unfortunately, like settling on a curfew, finding a happy medium is not so easy. AAA understands finding the right car for your teen can be a big decision and hopes to simplify the process by releasing their list of top vehicles for teens.

Safety, style and reliability make this list of cars top picks by AAA Auto Buying experts:

Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit TDI: Despite having compact exterior dimensions, these hatchbacks are roomy and flexible. Handling is predictable and stability control has been an option since 2003. The TDI (Turbo Diesel) is the diesel option, with lower horsepower and much better fuel economy ratings than the gasoline powered versions. Teens should avoid the speedier GTI (Grand Tourer Injection) edition; it can be too powerful for less experienced drivers.  The TrueCar national market average* of the 2012 Volkswagen Golf 4 door hatchback is $20,096, 2.3 percent less than the MSRP.

Ford Focus: In addition to being pleasant to drive and a solid performer with good handling, the latest Focus models also give parents the MyKey feature, which will limit speed, radio volume and prevent teens from turning off safety systems. The Ford Focus provides good fuel economy advertising up-to-40 hwy mpg on the SE with SFE package The TrueCar national market average* of the 2012 Ford Focus 5 door hatchback SE is $17,395, 8.9 percent less than the MSRP.

Honda Civic: A perennial and parental favorite, the Honda Civic offers solid handling, a stout structure, easy maneuvering and good fuel economy. When shopping around, do note model types, as the Si model may be too powerful for younger drivers. The TrueCar national market average* of the 2012 Honda Civic 4 door LX is $18,695, 4.6 percent less than the MSRP.

Hyundai Sonata (2011+): This newest Sonata is offered only with a four-cylinder engine. Handling is secure and the ride is comfortable. Beware of the turbocharged version; it is unnecessarily powerful for teenage drivers. The TrueCar national market average* of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata 4 door sedan 2.4L SE is $23,253, 3.0 percent less than the MSRP.

Ford Fusion: The Ford Fusion features secure handling and a comfortable ride. Increasing safety, upper trim levels in recent years can be equipped with an optional cross traffic alert feature, which makes backing out of a parking space with limited visibility safer.  Choosing the four-cylinder motor or gasoline-electric hybrid are better choices for teen drivers. The TrueCar national market average* of the 2012 Ford Fusion SE is $21,292, 10.4 percent less than the MSRP.

Kia Sportage: The Sportage, one of Kia’s midsize crossover utility vehicles, handles well and received 4 stars and a “no tip” evaluation in the NHTSA New Car Assessment Program. The Sportage is economical, dependable and comes with a wide range of safety features. The TrueCar national market average* of the 2012 Kia Sportage 2-wheel drive SX is $26,563, 4.1 percent less than the MSRP.

“Teen drivers see their first vehicle as a step toward independence; parents and teens seeing eye to eye on the best vehicle can be tough” says John Nielsen, director, AAA Automotive Engineering. “Safety behind the wheel should be a priority. Finding a reliable vehicle that has top safety features and fits into the budget will make you and your teen’s vehicle ownership more enjoyable.”

AAA’s top picks are selected by its AAA Auto Buying experts who test drive and evaluate hundreds of vehicles each year. AAA provides free vehicle reviews, localized pricing information and more for consumers online at Additional information on AAA Auto Buying is available at  You can also download the AAA Auto Buying Tools App here and access information on the go.

TrueCar, Inc. is the AAA preferred supplier for new and used car pricing information for the motor club. TrueCar is an online automotive information and communications platform focused on creating a better car buying experience for dealers and consumers. Consumers want a hassle-free car buying experience and dealers want high-quality sales velocity. TrueCar helps achieve these goals by providing unbiased market information on new and used car transactions and by supplying an online communications platform through which dealers and consumers can communicate with each other. TrueCar’s market-based information provides both consumers and dealers with an accurate and comprehensive understanding of what others actually paid recently for similar vehicles, both locally and nationally.  If you are in the market for a new vehicle, you can configure a virtual vehicle with the specifications you want, see the Estimated or Target Price for that vehicle in your area, and then connect directly with local TrueCar Certified Dealers at  Once you submit a request, TrueCar Certified Dealer representatives will get in touch with you to discuss vehicles in their inventory.

*Market Average is estimated based on the national average of recent vehicle transactions, including destination and delivery charges after incentives that are subject to change, but does not include tax, title, licensing, documentation or processing fees, other state and governmental charges and/or fees, or any other charges or fees allowed by law. Percent discount is rounded to the nearest tenth.

AAA offers a wide variety of resources to guide parents through the process of their teens learning how to drive through its teen driver safety website— This interactive site provides parents and teens with specific information based on where they live and where they are in the learning process— a downloadable brochure on a parent’s guide to choosing a vehicle “So Your Teen Wants a Car” can also be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at


Click on thumbnails for larger images

AAA—the nation’s largest automobile club—is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) first-ever federally-issued guidelines to automakers on in-vehicle electronic devices.  With the explosion of in-vehicle wireless communications technologies, automakers, safety advocates and government agencies must work together to ensure that these products can be operated safely and that they are not simply making it more convenient and more appealing to drive while distracted.

“AAA considers Secretary LaHood’s Phase I guidelines to be a step in the right direction.  But available research evidence is extremely limited and highly inconclusive on the real risks that in-car communications technologies pose to drivers, even when systems are limited to voice-activation only,” says AAA CEO and President Robert L. Darbelnet. “Until the weight of evidence suggests that safety risks are mitigated, AAA urges drivers to use caution when using these in-vehicle technologies and strive to keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road, and their focus on the important driving task.” 

Additional Resources

This year, AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety are sponsoring groundbreaking research by the University of Utah that will enable AAA to advise consumers about the relative risk posed by various devices and technologies.  This study will help inform the wider policy discussion about the role of technology in addressing distracted driving and ultimately help educate motorists through a robust public safety campaign.

AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety have long been leading advocates in educating motorists about the risks of distracted driving.  Most recently, AAA launched a legislative campaign in 2009 to advocate for all 50 states to enact bans on text messaging.  To date, 35 states have adopted this key traffic safety measure.  AAA also partnered with Secretary LaHood and Seventeen magazine to educate teen drivers on the dangers of distraction through the Two-Second Turn Off campaign. 

For more information or to view AAA’s videos on distracted driving, visit

Are Your Tires Gasping for Air?

June 2nd, 2011 by AAA

Washington, D.C. – 6/2/2011

RMA, AAA, NHTSA Continue Effort to Educate Motorists about Proper Tire Care

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), AAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Fairfax County, Va. police teamed up today at the Fairfax County Police Emergency Vehicle Operations Center to demonstrate the hazards posed by under inflated tires. The event also kicks off next week’s 10th annual National Tire Safety Week (June 5-11), an initiative of RMA’s Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART tire maintenance education program.

Fairfax police driving instructors first drove vehicles with properly inflated tires and then vehicles with significantly under inflated tires through simple maneuvers to demonstrate how vehicle handling is negatively affected by poor tire maintenance.

According to a RMA survey, millions of U.S. drivers do not know how to properly check tire pressure. This puts them and others at risk and wastes fuel. The survey found that 85 percent of motorists do not know how to properly inflate tires. Under inflated tires pose a safety risk because they generate heat inside the tire, which can cause damage that leads to failure. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that properly inflated tires will improve vehicle fuel economy by 3.3 percent and save up to 12 cents per gallon at the pump.

“Ten years ago, NHTSA and AAA helped RMA launch National Tire Safety Week,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “Our partnership and efforts continue today because our job is not finished. Too many drivers fail to do one simple task every month that will reduce their safety risk and help our nation conserve valuable natural resources. Checking tire pressure takes just five minutes and it’s worth every second.”

NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland, whose agency is charged with creating and enforcing national highway safety standards for vehicles and tires said, “Tires are a critical safety component on vehicles and the only parts that touch the road. NHTSA imposes stringent testing requirements for every tire sold in the U.S. to ensure the strongest consumer protection possible. But, the only way to ensure the continued safety performance of tires is for consumers to play their part with regular maintenance starting with inflation pressure. Without the right pressure, consumers are risking safety.”

Additional Resources

AAA Vice President for Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso noted that AAA will respond to more than one million motorist assistance requests for tire related issues this summer alone, “This summer, AAA anticipates it will come to the rescue of 1.2 million stranded motorists with tire-related issues. Many of these can be avoided by taking a few minutes once a month to ensure tires are properly inflated. During AAA Car Care Month vehicle inspections, technicians found tire issues were the most frequently occurring problem as one out of five vehicles inspected had incorrect tire pressure levels. Improper pressure levels not only put driver’s safety at risk but also can cost them extra money in gasoline and tire replacement costs during a time when many are looking to save money.”

Captain Susan Collins, Commander of the Fairfax County Police Traffic Division, said the department works hard to educate county residents about important vehicle maintenance and safety information. “Fairfax officers too often see the consequences of poorly maintained vehicles on county roads,” Collins said. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with industry, safety advocates and government agencies to educate drivers. Tires that are under inflated or bald will not grip the road properly and that increases the risk of crash. We urge all motorists to follow simple tire care tips to make sure they get to where they’re going safely.”

RMA urges all motorists to Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART. PART is an acronym for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread – the four key elements of tire care.

· Pressure: Check air pressure, under-inflation is the leading cause of wear and tear of tires

· Alignment: Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread-wear

· Rotation: Regularly rotating your vehicle’s tires will help you achieve more uniform wear

· Tread: Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. All RMA press releases are available at

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA sets and enforces safety performance standards for motor vehicles and equipment, and through grants to state and local governments enables them to conduct effective local highway safety programs. NHTSA investigates safety defects in motor vehicles, sets and enforces fuel economy standards, helps states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats and air bags, investigates odometer fraud, establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations and provides consumer information on motor vehicle safety topics


YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.