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Safest used cars recommended or teens

UNDATED (CBS News) -- A new report argues that teenagers need to drive safer cars, CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says teens involved in fatal accidents were more likely to be in older, unsafe vehicles.

AAA says over the last ten years, teen driving fatalities are up 26 percent during summertime. So when it comes to buying a car for your teen, the IIHS says the rule of thumb is to choose big, slow, and ugly.

Research shows parents are choosing used cars and SUV's for their sons and daughters by sticking to a budget rather than picking potentially life-saving safety features.

"It's so surprising how many teens are driving vehicles that aren't the safest," said Ann Mccartt of the IIHS.

The used vehicles providing the most protection for teenagers in crashes are bigger and have safety features which include electronic stability control.

"It helps the driver maintain control of a vehicle when they're going around a curve or they're on a slippery road, and they begin to lose the control. And electronic stability control reduces the risk of a fatal single vehicle crash by about half."

The used vehicles on the IIHS list meet important safety criteria helping them perform well in crash tests.

Among the best choices under $20,000: the Saab 9-5 2010 or later, the Toyota Prius 2012 or later and the Honda CR-V 2012 or later.

IIHS-rated "good choices" under $10,000 include the 2009 Mercury Sable, the 2009 Subaru Legacy and the Nissan Rogue 2008 and later.

The $7,900 2005 Acura t-l is also on the list under "good choices."

The IIHS says, stay away from vehicles with high horsepower as well as small and mini cars. 

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