Rock-Trac® Full-Time 4WD (safer on-road for teen?)

dalema

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Yeah, giving a 16 year old something that is relatively quick, stops poorly, and handles poorly as a first vehicle is pretty much begging for an accident. And the Wrangler is not the vehicle you want that accident to be in. He will do something stupid and your responsibility is for him to live until college.

Get them something boring that is a top safety pick and put good winter tires on it. Subaru is a good choice or there are a lot of other AWD crossovers available if that is a must have.
I’d agree with this. Not sure I’d be putting my 16 year old (and yes I have one) in a wrangler. I can only imagine the rollover risk in an emergency situation is significantly higher in the overreacting hands of a 16 year old. They are not that safe when compared to other newer model cars.

Along with the distracted driving (other kids and technology), another reason for higher death and injury in younger drivers is they tend to have the older, cheaper, hand me down vehicles that have less of the preventative and protective technology of newer vehicles. So I think if that is within your means you are on the right track there With a new(er) vehicle.

And that’s coming from someone who grew up in Australia where the idea of a kid getting a car bought for them on their 16th birthday was ridiculous. How times change.

And on that note, I think an auto is less distracting and as a young driver helps them focus on actually driving. I grew up driving manuals and still do - love them. I would think select auto 4WD could only help a young or any driver.

on the tech front - there is a do not distract feature on iPhones that can be enable based on motion, but it’s a challenge with teenagers and controlling phones. Some cars also have this feature now where the tech is disabled while moving, and I think some Ford’s will mute the radio until seat belts are buckled / has top speed limits that can be set / geo fencing and alerts etc

I‘d go with the newest, safest most uncool car that is within your means ;)





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Aframedweller

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I’d get my kid a WJ or a ZJ if I was going the Jeep route. They’re cheap and many have SelecTrac. These vehicles are cheap, easy to fix, excellent in snow and pretty safe. Perfect teen cars. I wouldn’t want a 16 year old driving my Rubicon without me in it.

I’ve had good luck with later model Volkswagens. There are a few models with AWD Haledex systems that are excellent in snow. The 2.5 and 2.0T motors are very reliable if maintained well.
 

jeepoch

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Steve,

It sounds like you and your wife are really trying to convince yourselves of getting a Jeep as a daily driver and worrying whether (or not) it's a good decision with a novice teenager just starting to drive. It's great that you're looking at this from many angles and soliciting advice with many (many) great points of input.

My only perspective is that manual transmissions are fun as hell when driven aggressively and pretty much a pain in the butt when not. Manual transmissions (always) give you much more potentially applied power per any type of driving situation (period). Automatics are programmed to limit torque almost always just to prevent possible powertrain damage. Not impossible to really get yourself into trouble, but certainly a lot harder than with a manual. Especially while being reckless.

Also, I recently nearly killed (yes as in dead), a distracted 16 year old driver on his phone. He pulled right into traffic attempting to make a left hand turn. It was on a multi-lane highway and the car in the rightmost lane was able to get behind him. I unfortunately in the left-side lane had to swerve into the oncoming lanes in order to prevent T-Boning him at 40mph.

Thankfully, Angels we're with us that day. I was only able to swerve because there was no immediate oncoming traffic. He hit me in my passenger quarter panel and pushed us all of the way across both oncoming lanes and into the opposing curb.

He was found to be 100% at fault for what he told the police and from other witness accounts. He admitted to texting and not paying attention. He also said that he was in a hurry. The police officer later told me that if I had not reacted and swerved, rather than having no injuries on scene (other than minor bruises and the trauma of the accident) this accident would likely have been a lot worse. He thanked me for good defensive driving.

The takeaway with my story is that I wouldn't be as worried about your teenager's driving as much as I would be about their potential phone discipline.

We old farts can and hopefully do put our phones down while driving. For teenagers, not a chance on any given day for any reason (whatsoever). Their entire life (and lack thereof) is all in that rectangular electronic nipple, (whether driving or not). Only you and your wife can judge whether this is indeed true of your teenager. I'll hedge a bet you can easily say that they're on their phone way more than you'd like. I know mine are.

Your fear should not be of the type of car or what it has on it but rather the phones that will be in it going along for the ride.

If you don't believe me, get on any busy street and really look over at the other drivers. Anyone under probably 40 years of age has their phone in their hands. I suspect that very soon, nanny state legislation will soon mandate in-vehicle cell-phone jammers and active whenever the car is moving.

Until then, phone discipline is the most important vehicle habit you can teach and advocate with your children. Automatic 4wd only if you believe that they are incompetent enough to not be able to manually select it, for any appropriate driving condition.

It seems to me that our priorities for teaching our children about life in general, other than just driving are somewhat misplaced.

Yes, I'm ready for the plethora of criticism. I hope, wish and pray, that you don't kill or become injured or dead yourself from a distracted driver. This in my opinion and experience is now rivaling everything like and just as bad as drunk driving. I'm so hypersensitive now. Almost like a parent losing their son or daughter in a car wreck. I came within a hairs breath of living that nightmare.

Jay
 

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Abend

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Well just to add another opinion... if you're not planning to go off pavement with it, you may want to rethink the Rubicon. It sits a good 2-3" higher and has more sidewall than a Sport or Sahara, so it's going to be squishier in turns. If you're worried about your kid driving it like it's a lowered Honda Civic, the added height and beefier tires aren't going to help when cornering too fast. As for your original question, there's absolutely zero difference in stability between the part-time and full-time 4WD options.

I hate to say it, but I'm going to side with your wife on who should pay for the vehicle. Just from my own experience, I had to buy my first car myself ($600 for a '73 super beetle). I worked on it myself and I took good care of it. I never got into a single accident, nor did I have any close calls. My younger brother totaled 4 cars by the time he was 18 (he was at fault in all 4 accidents and had his license suspended twice). All 4 cars were 100% paid for by my parents. After that, he had to buy his own and he hasn't wrecked one since. Not exactly a scientific study, but based on that, my kids are going to be paying for their own vehicles.
 

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Until then, phone discipline is the most important vehicle habit you can teach and advocate with your children.
I'm going to go one further and say everyone needs better phone discipline :( I hate it when I am stopped at a redlight and everyone around me is checking out fb/twitter/insta. Then it causes this delayed conga line because the first person didn't notice the light turned green, then the person behind doesn't notice that the first person left, etc.

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/how-does-everyone-mount-their-cell-phones.11797/

"but it's for navigation!" :LOL:
 

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Let me add my 2 cents, from a slightly different point of view. As a father & as a Firefighter/Paramedic, with experience in LOTS of accident scenes.

I taught my daughters to drive my manual 1990 Toyota 4x4. I took them to autocrosses, HPDEs, & Time Trials & had them drive my MR2 & drive other vehicles there that my friends would let them drive. So, they could learn & understand the limits of a vehicle safely. So, they saw how even a little distraction or error can end badly. The autocross was the best in teaching them this, as nothing to tear up or cause damage, just killing a cone. So, TEACH your kid & let them see the results of their driving skills. Take your crossover/SUV to a local AX & let him go. You will never regret this & he will love it.

Now, with this above having been mentioned...
I have seen a lot of wrecks in my 25 years on my Department. Some of the best vehicles I have seen where people walked away, were Subarus. Yes, the Jeep will take some hits especially with some heavy steel bumpers & rock rails added on. But, I am really impressed with how a Subaru, & Volvos, can crumple up & dissipate the energy of a collision away from the occupants.

Knowing all the above so far...
We have always made our daughters "pay" for privileges, especially a car. My daughters paid for their cars by getting good grades & eventually scholarships. So, not necessarily having a job, but still earning the privilege. So, when my baby girl went away to college, 3 hours from home, back in 2014, she needed a vehicle. Well, for the 1st semester she was at college without a car, to prove that she could do the work & concentrate on what she needed to concentrate on. After that 1st semester & a 4.0, & getting an RA position. I no longer had to pay for room & board & her scholarships pretty much paid the rest.

With all that covered. There in December of 2014, I bought her one of the last 2014 Subaru Crosstreks on the lot.

It was safe, got pretty good MPG, around 35 on the highway, sits kind of high up & has a large field of view windshield& side view, & has been pretty much trouble free & she still has that car.

She "earned it", graduated a semester early, has a nice job now, & working on her master's degree.

Having a 2020 JLUR, I'm sure she can easily handle it & would have had no problems. My older daughter, she would have only had a Subaru, as she was a little more "adventurous". But, they both would have known how to handle either vehicle.

But, when it came to protecting my kids & giving them a trouble free, safe vehicle. The AWD Subaru was a no brainer to me. They are relatively inexpensive, compared to other new cars, safe, pretty easy to work on, parts & oil changes (routine maintenance) is not expensive, & get good MPG.

But, you will have to decide what is best for the need of your child. Just hope I have given you something to think about. But, ultimately, you have to trust them & let them go & learn. Even if they have to learn the hard way. Lord knows I had to learn the hard way. Wishing you all the best!
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Nothing makes a teen driver "safer"

I was an idiot back then (like most teens) and we didn't have nearly the amount of distractions that are available nowadays.

GL!!!!!!
 

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Lots of decent thoughts from different perspectives in this thread.

Thanks everyone for the thoughts. Let me ask the full-time 4WD question differently. Is the full-time 4WD safer because it redirects power and brakes to four wheels instead of two? I’m thinking along the line of Audi’s Quattro that really holds the road.

Since you guys touched on it, my wife and I are on the fence whether or not to buy a manual. Two weeks ago, it was a given that having him drive a manual was safer. He and I test drove a new manual Civic, and after an hour, he got the hang of it. It was fun to see him learn. I really enjoyed the test drive too :).

I think that driving a manual will force him to pay more attention, and thus be a safer. Both my wife and I grew up driving manuals, and she says she would like to have one again, too.

So why the question about full time FWD? It’s because I started looking at getting a 4xe, and full-time 4WD is standard on it. When I started digging into it, I began to think that if it helps the Jeep hold the road better, then it may be safer to get an automatic with it, than buying a manual.
Couple thoughts:
1). My preference in a vehicle like a Jeep has always been Manual. Same with 4wd. Selectrac is more moving parts, and wear and tear. I'd rather go with the 2wd/4wd/4Low case as that's what I've always had, and never had problems with it. I have no problem or issues shifting back and forth, don't have traction issues on wet pavement or ice or sleet or slight snow, etc. If I start to feel it slip, I drop it into 4wd. If I feel I need more torque or i'm on the trail? 4 Low. That said, I've also got about 17 years of seat time in a Wrangler, so at this point it's all second nature.

2) Speaking as a driver who was a stupid teenager in the pre-smart phone era: there have always been distractions. ALWAYS. Ironically for me it was never other people though (slightly anti-social, here) and usually something like changing music, something falling out of a cup holder and spilling, or my backpack sliding off the passenger seat and getting tangled in the gear shift (that was fun). Overall, I've had more accidents due to inattentive driving in an Auto than a Manual. Manual transmissions force me to pay attention and engage with the vehicle vs just passively driving and getting distracted like I did in the Autos. It also gives an additional method for slowing down (down shifting) and maintaining control. the Great thing about these new vehicles is they all have Smart phone integration- so no need to keep messing with your phone for music/ messaging/ Nav! it's right on the screen! and I know with iPhone you can set parental controls including carplay and other "do not distract while driving" features.

3).Wranglers specifically aren't like any other vehicle on the road today. That's something people need to understand from square one. As such- it needs to be handled differently and needs to be driven differently. Solid axles, coil springs, high center of gravity and a big boxy frame are great for off roading but not always optimal for commuting. it's going to come down to personal preference: If that's something he is going to be fine with, and would want that capability vs. the convenience of being able to take a turn at 70mph, then he'll do fine in a Wrangler. Otherwise? I'd steer away from it. I've seen too many people buy one and get pissed because it's basically not a Ford Raptor or some Speedy Euro AWD SUV.

4). One of the benefits of me having older/ used vehicles coming from a non-mechanically inclined household (mom tried, dad was useless) was I had to work on them myself. Especially my old Jeeps. They weren't complete piles of shit, but there was enough that happened that I had to start buying tools, figuring things out, and fixing/ doing maintenance. This taught me both simple mechanics, and simple engineering concepts, and really helped me develop a structured problem solving skillset that has actually helped make sense of a lot of things, and actually lead to a career for me. I had a really good group, and ended up finding a lot of good friendships/ learning a lot through the people who would help/ teach me while working on my old Jeep. I don't know that I would have developed that as early if I hadn't been forced to work on my Jeep myself because it got to the point where I just got tired of paying the price for being negligent with maintenance, or ambitious/just plain stupid off road- and yes, I learned all that the hard way... eventually.

5). Both @Chief_Dan and @aldo98229 offer really good perspectives on teaching your kids about safety and trust regarding vehicles and "coming of age", I guess for lack of a better term. Learning where your vehicle limits are and how to maintain a cool head under stressful situations can be infinitely important to learn. I learned that (and better emergency planning ) through off roading. I had a great group to teach me, but those are getting increasingly harder to find. an Autocross would be a good alternative. Likewise, if my parents tried to put some kind of nanny device into my vehicle, I'd find a way to disable/ trick/ or straight up remove it. I was always a good kid, so really, they didn't have anything to worry about- my parents were just overbearing (especially dad). But again- different perspective: I worked part time since High school, and a car wasn't a privilege for joyriding, it was a means for me to get to work/ school. Which I used to pay for my car.

Ultimately, with a Jeep you do run the risk of someone coming up with the stupid idea of "let's go off roading" at the worst possible time and the Jeep getting damaged or stuck, but the same could be said for any other car, just replace off roading with racing, and getting stuck with getting pulled over/ crashing.

My son is 3 and my daughter is 7 months, so I've got some time before I have to start worrying about them driving cars. They'll have a way better knowledge base from me and my wife than I ever did from my parents, but I've always been open to options: Split the cost of the first car with them to show me they can work, save, manage money, maintain a vehicle. If they're going into a really intensive field in school, then maybe earn it with good grades. If they really want something new, do both, and we'll kick in whatever we can. One thing is for sure: They'll never get the keys/ use out of my main vehicle. I didn't when I was younger, I only ever borrowed vehicles when mine was in the shop. It taught me that vehicle was mine alone, and in doing that, my responsibility.

Sorry for the novel. Good luck!
 
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Kyanche

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the Great thing about these new vehicles is they all have Smart phone integration
The best part if you have an iPhone is, if you hold down the voice control button for a second, you get siri. If you hold it and tell it to play ozzy osborne, you got it! No need to poke at the radio at all. If you have spotify, then "play ozzy osborne on spotify". Done*

I bet there's a similar setup for android phones.

I use that all the time. No need to even think about what else is going on. Woot!

** I noticed that with spotify I needed to tell it to do that while I was parked in my driveway the first time, because the phone asked if siri should have permission to control spotify. something odd like that. It will only bring up the prompt if you call siri from your steering wheel button, not triggering siri on the phone itself.
 

RubiSc0tt

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The best part if you have an iPhone is, if you hold down the voice control button for a second, you get siri. If you hold it and tell it to play ozzy osborne, you got it! No need to poke at the radio at all. If you have spotify, then "play ozzy osborne on spotify". Done*

I bet there's a similar setup for android phones.

I use that all the time. No need to even think about what else is going on. Woot!

** I noticed that with spotify I needed to tell it to do that while I was parked in my driveway the first time, because the phone asked if siri should have permission to control spotify. something odd like that. It will only bring up the prompt if you call siri from your steering wheel button, not triggering siri on the phone itself.
Yep. There's some sort of permissions issue with Siri being able to launch certain apps. I've run into it in previous versions but it seems they fixed it. I frequently do this while pulling out of the driveway- "Hey Siri play _______ playlist on Spotify" and it works great. I do need to rename a few playlists though. It keeps mixing up my Motorhead playlist with some techno track with a similar name; Also need to figure out how to voice command podcasts. Other than that? Voice command is essential for hands free phone operation. I've been trying to slowly test the capabilities of it, but I wouldn't be shocked if we see a system similar to stuff like JARVIS in the Ironman movies.
 
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SteveTigers

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I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. My biggest takeaway from your advice was finding a him a driving program. That wasn’t something I realized existed. Driver’s Education isn’t a thing any longer for most schools, and our State Farm insurance doesn’t give a discount even if he found one to take. That is something I am going to check out for sure. I can’t thank you enough for that advice.

I’m a number’s guys so I went looking for some data this morning. I came across a couple IIHS reports that helped quantify the risks to some degree. If you haven’t seen it before, the one about insurance claims was extremely surprising. The 4 door Jeep has middle of the road death rates for mid-size SUV’s, but the insurance claims are the lowest. Ironically, it is the opposite for the vehicle that a wrangler is in an accident with. The Jeep does the most damage than any other vehicle in its class. It also causes some of the highest medical claims to the other driver. Why do you think that is? Is it because of beefed up bumpers, rock guards and lift kits that cause the Jeep to enter the passenger compartment of the other vehicle?.
Insurance Claims
Driver Death Rates

Our local dealer received a manual Rubicon yesterday so the family took it out for a drive today. All of us drove it, and then we went to dinner to discuss what we are going to do. My daily driver is a Toyota Highlander, and it has all the safety features and a low IIHS death rates. He is going to start off driving it most of the time. He can transition to driving the Jeep to school 5 miles away, but when he has to make a long trip, go on the highway, or drive at night it is going to be the Highlander. He will also have his IPhone set to DND when driving - always. He will pay for his gas, and insurance if it goes up due to a ticket or accident. He knows I’m looking at a 4xe, so he is pushing for that so he doesn’t have to buy gas.

You guys have gone above and beyond discussing this. I’ve discussed each of you comments with my wife. Anytime someone has said he should buy his own car, she says “See!!” :facepalm:

Chief Dan did a better job than I ever could explaining that our son has to earn the privilege of driving.

Jay, my son’s friend just turned 16 and last month he pulled out in front of someone at a highway crossover and was T-boned. Thank god he was in a newer car with side air bags, and no one was seriously injured. I am convinced that it is a very good idea for me to add substantial bumpers and rock guards to the Jeep.

Thanks again everyone for your input. I’m extremely grateful!
 

Kurt0

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I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. My biggest takeaway from your advice was finding a him a driving program. That wasn’t something I realized existed. Driver’s Education isn’t a thing any longer for most schools, and our State Farm insurance doesn’t give a discount even if he found one to take. That is something I am going to check out for sure. I can’t thank you enough for that advice.

I’m a number’s guys so I went looking for some data this morning. I came across a couple IIHS reports that helped quantify the risks to some degree. If you haven’t seen it before, the one about insurance claims was extremely surprising. The 4 door Jeep has middle of the road death rates for mid-size SUV’s, but the insurance claims are the lowest. Ironically, it is the opposite for the vehicle that a wrangler is in an accident with. The Jeep does the most damage than any other vehicle in its class. It also causes some of the highest medical claims to the other driver. Why do you think that is? Is it because of beefed up bumpers, rock guards and lift kits that cause the Jeep to enter the passenger compartment of the other vehicle?.
Insurance Claims
Driver Death Rates

Our local dealer received a manual Rubicon yesterday so the family took it out for a drive today. All of us drove it, and then we went to dinner to discuss what we are going to do. My daily driver is a Toyota Highlander, and it has all the safety features and a low IIHS death rates. He is going to start off driving it most of the time. He can transition to driving the Jeep to school 5 miles away, but when he has to make a long trip, go on the highway, or drive at night it is going to be the Highlander. He will also have his IPhone set to DND when driving - always. He will pay for his gas, and insurance if it goes up due to a ticket or accident. He knows I’m looking at a 4xe, so he is pushing for that so he doesn’t have to buy gas.

You guys have gone above and beyond discussing this. I’ve discussed each of you comments with my wife. Anytime someone has said he should buy his own car, she says “See!!” :facepalm:

Chief Dan did a better job than I ever could explaining that our son has to earn the privilege of driving.

Jay, my son’s friend just turned 16 and last month he pulled out in front of someone at a highway crossover and was T-boned. Thank god he was in a newer car with side air bags, and no one was seriously injured. I am convinced that it is a very good idea for me to add substantial bumpers and rock guards to the Jeep.

Thanks again everyone for your input. I’m extremely grateful!
im not sure where youre located, but find the closest race track and start searching there. one of the many driving/riding/flying schools ive been through for work was at Bill Scott Raceway in VA/WVA border. They do an excellent crash avoidance school as well as an off road driving school that are both excellent starter courses. Theyll teach you how to wheel with small tires and no lockers. Theyll teach you how to start, control, and stop a skid. Youll do the battery of emergency lane change maneuvers. Etc etc. imo, these things should be a part of driver’s ed.

absolutely nothing makes a person safer than training in good judgement and training in good reactionary skills.
 

aldo98229

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The Jeep does the most damage than any other vehicle in its class. It also causes some of the highest medical claims to the other driver. Why do you think that is? Is it because of beefed up bumpers, rock guards and lift kits that cause the Jeep to enter the passenger compartment of the other vehicle?.
In 12 years driving Wranglers, I’ve only been in one accident.

Picture it: February 2010, on a Southern California freeway going to work. I am driving my 2009 JKUR 6-speed manual with a 2.5-inch spacer lift. The traffic is moving at 50 MPH, suddenly comes to a stop. I look in my rear view mirror and see a brand-new Toyota Prius, still with temporary plates, coming fast towards me. Instead of looking where he is going, the young driver is staring down in the direction of his crotch. I sit straight up, push myself against the seat and release the brake pedal to help cushion the blow. I keep my eyes in the mirror; he never looks up until the very last second right before he disappears from view under my spare tire. His eyes wide open in surprise.

Boom!

I jump out of the Jeep and run to the back. His Toyota is one tangled mess. He comes out; he looks unhurt. Every one of his 10 airbags deployed. To his credit, the first words out of his mouth are “are you okay?” I look at my Jeep; there’s hardly any evidence of impact! The Mopar steel bumper shows some scuffs, but that’s all. “You were on the phone!” I say. “What do you mean?” he asks. “I saw you coming towards me for the last 150 years; you didn’t look up once” I reply. “Oh, I dropped my breakfast burrito...”

During the impact, his Prius wedged itself under my Jeep. Thankfully for me, the force of the crash was dissipated by lifting up the rear of my Rubicon. The weight of my Jeep crushed the front of the Toyota. My trailer hitch cut his hood open like a can of anchovies, then pushed his little engine and electric motor against the firewall before dropping them on the ground. There are fluids of every color spilt everywhere; the car makes electrical short noises, like we are in a Hollywood movie set. We exchange information; he is 30 years old; his car was only 30 days old.

When we are done, the traffic clears up. I continue off to work like nothing happened while he stays there waiting for a flatbed.

That is how disparate the damage can be between a Jeep and another vehicle.
 

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I really appreciate everyone’s feedback. My biggest takeaway from your advice was finding a him a driving program. That wasn’t something I realized existed. Driver’s Education isn’t a thing any longer for most schools, and our State Farm insurance doesn’t give a discount even if he found one to take. That is something I am going to check out for sure. I can’t thank you enough for that advice.

I’m a number’s guys so I went looking for some data this morning. I came across a couple IIHS reports that helped quantify the risks to some degree. If you haven’t seen it before, the one about insurance claims was extremely surprising. The 4 door Jeep has middle of the road death rates for mid-size SUV’s, but the insurance claims are the lowest. Ironically, it is the opposite for the vehicle that a wrangler is in an accident with. The Jeep does the most damage than any other vehicle in its class. It also causes some of the highest medical claims to the other driver. Why do you think that is? Is it because of beefed up bumpers, rock guards and lift kits that cause the Jeep to enter the passenger compartment of the other vehicle?.
Insurance Claims
Driver Death Rates

Our local dealer received a manual Rubicon yesterday so the family took it out for a drive today. All of us drove it, and then we went to dinner to discuss what we are going to do. My daily driver is a Toyota Highlander, and it has all the safety features and a low IIHS death rates. He is going to start off driving it most of the time. He can transition to driving the Jeep to school 5 miles away, but when he has to make a long trip, go on the highway, or drive at night it is going to be the Highlander. He will also have his IPhone set to DND when driving - always. He will pay for his gas, and insurance if it goes up due to a ticket or accident. He knows I’m looking at a 4xe, so he is pushing for that so he doesn’t have to buy gas.

You guys have gone above and beyond discussing this. I’ve discussed each of you comments with my wife. Anytime someone has said he should buy his own car, she says “See!!” :facepalm:

Chief Dan did a better job than I ever could explaining that our son has to earn the privilege of driving.

Jay, my son’s friend just turned 16 and last month he pulled out in front of someone at a highway crossover and was T-boned. Thank god he was in a newer car with side air bags, and no one was seriously injured. I am convinced that it is a very good idea for me to add substantial bumpers and rock guards to the Jeep.

Thanks again everyone for your input. I’m extremely grateful!
If I may add something from a professional perspective ... I buy class 8 trucks for a living.

First, while everyone likes to drive a manual 13 speed, the fact of the matter is that an automatic is simply safer. It gets the driver's head "out of the cab". It keeps his head up and looking around instead of at gear shifts, tachometers, and speedometers. I can say with absolute certainty that we have had less accidents by going this route. We have also had considerably less out-of-route miles, which simply means drivers were paying better attention to the roads and their exits, etc., instead of worrying about shifting gears in traffic.

Second, vehicle safety add-ons. We buy with every proven safety feature available. Roll/stability control, lane departure, distance mitigation, just name a few. $55,000.00 worth of safety add-ons are worth every last penny. I believe to 2021 Rubicon comes with every one of these options, plus big brakes.

Third, dash cameras. Don't leave home without one. While I do not subscribe to driver facing cameras for professional drivers, I would in the instance of a young person, insist on one, and make sure they know it's there. You can track where you vehicle is and what it is doing through the Uconnect app on your phone, and if that isn't enough information, you can buy a separate tracking device that will fill in the blanks.

Lastly, safety training is an absolute must. For us it's a $15,000.00 training course just to get a license, plus another 6 weeks in the cab being mentored by a professional driver-trainer, plus another 60-65 hours of in class instruction. Search out and use every conceivable training option at your disposal. Funds spent on proper training are worth every penny, and you see the results at every birthday and Christmas.

For my own kids, I found it better to use a professional trainer to teach my kids to drive rather than do it myself. I tried with my eldest and quickly found that I was not the best option for teaching my daughter. One thing I do wish I had at the time though was YouTube so I could show them videos of wrecks, how easily they can happen, and the abhorrent results.

A favour to ask ... teach him (and every other kid you know) how to share the road with big trucks. God knows we hate to run over teenagers, but it happens, and far too often. Many professional drivers have gone to the looney bin, or worse, after being involved in an accident involving young drivers.
 

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