2018 Best and Worst U.S. States for Teen Drivers

23 Jul 2018

In American culture, many consider obtaining a driver’s license a rite of passage. Unfortunately, it has also led to thousands of teen deaths each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among the teen 16 through 19-year-old population, motor-vehicle accidents still remain the main cause of death.

Teens aged 15 through 19 years old were responsible for nearly 11 percent of all motor-vehicle injury costs, the CDC said — not including costs like:

  • Insurance premiums
  • Auto maintenance
  • Potential traffic citations

And, these types of costs can pile up with time.

WalletHub performed an analysis of the teen-driving environment in all 50 states. They used 23 different key metrics to come up with their findings. Here are some of the findings:

Each item is per teen population

Teen Driver Fatalities

Teen Driver DUIs Adding a Teen to Insurance Policy Cost of Car Repairs
Fewest – Vermont Fewest – Delaware Lowest Premium Increase – Hawaii Lowest – Michigan
Most – Wyoming Most – Montana Highest Premium Increase – Rhode Island Highest – Connecticut


The Graduated Driver License program, implemented by Texas in 2002 for example, provides new drivers the opportunity to enhance their driving skills in lower-risk environments over time.

New drivers are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle:

  • If they have more than one non-family member passenger under 21 years old in their vehicle.
  • Between the hours of midnight and 5 am unless they’re participating or attending a school-related activity, are required to drive the vehicle for their work or its due to a medical emergency.

Those under the age of 18 are not allowed to use a wireless communication device until they are at least 18 years old. This includes a hands-free device. The only exception is if there’s an emergency.

Office Sgt. Dub Gillum of the Texas Department of Public Safety Public Information said teen drivers are involved in motor vehicle crashes due to several factors including a lack of driving experience and distracted driving.

To tackles some of these issues that teen drivers face, he says teens should practice their driving with their parents so they gain experience. Not only this, but parents can then correct their teen’s driving errors before they turn into poor driving behaviors. Both parents and teen need to learn driving laws and concentrate on driving skills no matter what city, county and state they live in.

Driving can be daunting for the new, inexperienced teen driver, but with the right tips and advice, it doesn’t have to be.

What Parents Can Do to Help Their Teen Drivers

Some things you can do as a parent are:

  • Get to know the GDL law and be aware of the restrictions placed on your teenager’s license
  • Ensure your teen uses a seat belt all the time
  • Discuss the dangers of alcohol and drug use while driving and that it’s illegal and deadly
  • Don’t rely on a driver’s education course only to teach your teenager how to drive — these classes are only one part of the GDL system
  • Ensure you’re a good role model. Drive safely yourself and practice good driving behaviors
  • Implement GPS tracking for teens to monitor your teen’s driving behavior like hard braking, driving speed and aggressive driving. You’ll also want to use the GPS teen tracking system to set boundaries, so you’ll know if your teen goes out of them

While teenagers are responsible for their own driving behaviors, as a parent, you’re going to shoulder much of the financial and emotional consequences when things go wrong.  Setting up some ground rules before your teen gets behind the wheel can help.



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