May 102017
 

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, but the way in which states and parents regulate teen behavior can have a huge impact. Latino Traffic Report has learned that a new analysis by CarInsurance.com found safe driving environments for teens vary greatly by state, with Maryland and New York ranking among the safest.

In contrast, Montana and North Dakota have the most dangerous driving environments for teens.

The safest states for teen drivers are:

  1. Maryland
  2. New York
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Connecticut
  5. Massachusetts

The most dangerous states for teen drivers are:

  1. Montana
  2. North Dakota
  3. Kansas
  4. Wyoming
  5. Alabama

This is the second year that CarInsurance.com performed this analysis. Maryland and Massachusetts are the only states from last year’s top three to again make the top three this year (Massachusetts and Alaska were first and third respectively last year).

Montana and North Dakota are again the bottom two states this year. Last year, Louisiana joined them as third from the bottom.

To identify the best and worst states for teen drivers, CarInsurance.com analyzed five teen-driving metrics:

  • Number of teen driver fatalities per 100,000 population
  • Effectiveness of Graduated Driving License (GDL) components
  • Teen drinking and driving rates
  • Teen emailing/texting and driving rates
  • Average annual insurance costs for teen drivers

Results this year compared to last year

New winner this year:

  • Maryland topped our list this year as the safest state for teen drivers, after finishing second last year.
  • The state had a low number of teen-related fatal accidents in 2015 (.3 per 100,000 residents) and has some of the strongest GDL laws in the country.
  • The new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System results on driving and drinking or texting were the major differences this year

Why last’s years No. 1 fell in rankings:

  • Last year’s safest state, Massachusetts, dropped to fifth place this year. The Bay State continued having one of the lowest teen-related fatal accident rate and strong GDL laws, which helped it to edge out California and Virginia for the No. 5 rank.
  • Massachusetts survey numbers were worse than Maryland’s, which contributed to Massachusetts dropping from the top spot.

The losers stay the same:

  • On the other side, Montana and North Dakota remained in the bottom two spots.
  • Both states had a high per capita number of fatal accidents involving teens, lacked strong GDL provisions, and experienced poor teen survey results for drinking while driving and texting while driving.

To get complete rankings, see how states fared on individual metrics and to read our methodology, view the full story “Teen driving safety: Least and most dangerous states.”