Jeep Wrangler Safety for First Timers
Jeep Wrangler safety concerns often arise especially regarding the young first time driver?
I have heard the question Are Jeep Wranglers Safe? often posed by parents who all too soon have teenaged children getting their drivers licenses and thinking about the car, truck or JEEP of their dreams.
I have to admit that the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep CJ (also known as the "Universal" styled Jeeps) are very seductive to young and old alike. I am a good example of a tried and true Jeep Lover, who has been seduced by the Wranglers and CJs for a long time.
The problem arises when a parent or guardian has to make a decision about the type of vehicle they want their child to start driving...with safety as the greatest motivator. After all, we all want our children to be as safe as possible, especially when venturing onto the highways and byways in a ton and a half moving conglomerate of metal, plastic, rubber and glass.
I was recently asked (again) by a parent whether or not I thought the Jeep Wrangler was safe, or not, for her twin 16-year old new drivers. Below is Camilla's question. My reply might surprise you:
Camilla: The Jeep Wrangler doesn't have safety ratings that make the parents of two 16-year old's say "yes, buy it!" I'm wondering if it has been tested with the hard top on? (Implied) Are Jeep Wranglers Safe in general for young drivers?
The Jeep Wrangler is only as safe as the person who drives it.
No, it does not have the safety features of a Volvo, or most other mid- to full-sized cars and trucks produced today. The Wrangler is a special multipurpose vehicle designed to go off road, as well as function on hard pavement.
Being that some compromises have to be made for a vehicle to have this kind of versatility, there are inherent requirements of the driver to be mature, experienced and above all, aware of the vehicle's limitations.
Only you as parents know your children's level of responsibility and concern for safety. Many young people get early experience with Jeeps on farms, ranches and hunting or fishing expeditions with responsible adults as examples.
As a parent myself I would not recommend a Wrangler or CJ Jeep as a first vehicle for my child to use as a daily driver. I would want my child to have a lot of driving experience and maturity before venturing into the Wrangler world of Jeeps.
A good compromise would be the Jeep Cherokee XJ (1984 through 2001...best from 1996 to 2001), or the Jeep Grand Cherokee (1993 to the present). They are mid-sized SUVs available with 4-wheel drive and full safety features for each model year.
Also, the Wrangler hard-top provides no added safety protection. It merely provides shelter from inclement weather, some sound deadening and convertible versatility when desired. The Wranglers do come standard with full roll cages for added safety.
The question of Jeep Wrangler safety requires some caveats when applied to young drivers as well as many first time Wrangler drivers of any age:
So, are Jeep Wranglers safe? Should Jeep Wrangler safety be a factor when choosing a young or first time driver's vehicle? Well, the answer to the second question is yes it should, however good preparation and supervised practice, subsequently gaining valuable experience, can lead to a lifetime of joy in one of the greatest vehicles of all time.
See More on Jeep Wrangler Safety and Answers to "Are Jeeps Safe".
Roll Cages and Wrangler Safety!
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