Teen Drivers: The Worst States to Drive In

Getting a driver’s license for the first time is a true cause immense happiness. In the United States, this is just one of many steps a teenager takes, in order to gain independence and turn into a responsible adult. Still, the numbers show that a teen’s first few years behind the wheel are one of the most dangerous in their lives. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that teen drivers ages 16-19 years old are 3 times more likely to be in a fatal accident, than any other age group.

The probability of being involved in a car accident depends on the location in which you live. That’s why WalletHub conducted a study in which every U.S. state was ranked from best to worst for teen drivers. In order to get their results, every state was examined based on three factors: the safety, economic climate, and traffic laws in each state.

The Results

The study concluded that the 5 most dangerous states for teen drivers are Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. In terms of the best states for teen drivers, the study found that New York, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington provide the best environment.

Other than classifying the safety level for teen drivers in each state, the study also examined relatable factors like the number of teens charged with DUIs, as well as how much auto insurance cost would increase if a teen was added to a policy. These are the results:

States with the Fewest Teen DUIs;

  1. Illinois
  2. Delaware
  3. Ohio
  4. Florida
  5. New York

States with Lowest Premium Increase with Addition of Teen Driver

  1. Hawaii
  2. New York
  3. North Carolina
  4. Michigan
  5. South Dakota

Parents Are the Key

Independently of the risks and safety that each state presents to teen drivers, many times, the best way to protect teens is through effective communication from parents. As heads of the household, parents count with the authority and responsibility to involve themselves in their teen’s driving activities.

The Parents Are the Key campaign, directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helps parents maintain teen drivers safe with an abundance of informational resources. For example, they state that the biggest cause of teen mortality in fatal accidents is their lack of experience.

Local Laws

Car accidents are more common for teen drivers than for any other generation, and there’s many ways to further prepare them to drive on the roads. Every state has different rules and regulations for obtaining a driver’s license for the first time. Many states also practice some variation of the Graduated Driver-Licensing Program Laws.

These provisions are used to make sure that a driver is fully prepared to drive, and include the following:

  1. Minimum Age 16 to Obtain Learning Permit
  2. 6 Month Holding Period
  3. 30-50 Hours of Supervised Driving
  4. Driving Restriction at Night
  5. Passenger Restriction
  6. Cell Phone Restriction
  7. Age 18 for Unrestricted License

Of all 50 states examined in the study, those who use at least 5 of the 7 provisions are Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. With stricter regulations like these, teen drivers can benefit with greater safety behind the wheel. On the other hand, the states with less than 2 of the 7 provisions include Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Getting a driver’s license for the first time is a reason for a teen driver to celebrate, and every teen’s experience depends on their state of residence. Make sure to protect your family by calling an Infinity agent at 1-800-INFINITY or get an online quote today.

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