The statistics for teenage drivers are not too encouraging. Distracted, alcohol-impaired driving and lack of seatbelt use are key contributors to the high rate of fatal accidents by teenage drivers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatal accident rate per mile driven in the United States for 16 to 19 year-old kids is almost 3 times higher than by drivers over 20. The purchase of a new driver's first car should be guided by safety, reliability, and affordability. Check out some of the best used cars for teen and unskilled drivers.

2010 Acura TL

Although considered a luxury car by many, that's not the reason why it makes this list. The Acura TL is known for its many safety features. For example, available all-wheel drive and updated brakes make this a good option for teens.

According to Edmunds, the TL received a perfect five-out-of-five-star score in government tests for frontal and side impact protection for all occupants.

2010 Ford Fusion

Another top-rated car is the 2010 Ford Fusion. In addition to boasting affordable prices, the Ford Fusion 2010 scored so well in safety tests that the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick. With ample cargo room, it's also a good option for students who transport instruments, sports equipment or other large items.

Does your teen suffer from asthma or allergies? Ford made the cabin air filter that eliminates respiratory irritants standard on the Fusion.

2011 Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is another safe option with such features as traction control, brake assist and 4-wheel disc brakes. If your biggest concern is the car’s response in case of an accident, it received a five-out-of-five-star rating for protection against crashes.

The Sonata’s precise controls and standard iPod interface give it a sense of being more upscale.

2012 Honda Accord

A big competitor to the Hyundai Sonata is the 2012 Honda Accord. It is unbeatable when it comes to crash safety tests.

The Accord features a long list of pluses, including electronic stability control, front side airbags, active front headrests and anti-lock brakes. 

2014 Nissan Altima

Those looking for a newer model may find the 2014 Nissan Altima offers better handling than many competitors on its class, with crisp steering even on the curviest of roads. Compared to the Honda Accord, Nissan included luxury and smart car features even on its most basic Altima trim levels. Parents will appreciate the car’s solid performance while young drivers will enjoy its high-tech bells and whistles.

2010 Chevy Malibu

The 2010 Chevy Malibu is known as a smart choice for 2 major factors: safety and affordability. Most parents place great importance on both, making this car a popular choice. With respect to fuel efficiency, the Malibu is available with a four-cylinder engine.

U.S. News and World Report named the Malibu #8 in 2010 Affordable Used Midsize Cars.

2011 Honda Civic

Boasting great fuel efficiency, the 2011 Honda Civic is a good choice for teens. It's one of the most commonly owned cars in the market, meaning lower repair expenses.

The Civic's cost of ownership is low, but keep in mind that its safety ratings are only average, three out of five stars from NHTSA.

2010 Toyota Prius

The 2010 and newer Toyota Prius models have top-notch safety ratings and outstanding fuel economy with an MPG (miles per gallon) of 51 city and 48 highway. Its ample interior space and more appealing redesign for the 2010 model make it one of the best cars for teens.

Compared to other midsize cars and hybrids, the 2010 Prius is a great option and top contender.

2010 Honda CRV

If you prefer an SUV to a compact or midsize car, the 2010 CRV is worth considering. It ranks as the top used compact SUV. And, because it's a Honda, you can expect low repair costs and a long period of ownership.

2014 Chevrolet Sonic

The 2014 Chevy Sonic might be one to look at if your teen wants more space and a funkier design. This small car offers a great driving experience with sharp handling, rearview camera and a surprising amount of space in the trunk & cabin areas.

The Sonic was also recommended by Consumer Reports on their best-used cars for teens list. According to crash tests, the Chevy Sonic received a five-star rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Remember that regardless of which type of car you choose for your teen, avoiding dangerous driving habits is the most effective way to assure safety on the road. Also, make sure you have a reliable team when you or your teen get behind the wheel.

Call an Armstrong Insurance agent today to get your teenager insured!