Like many other parents in New Jersey, you may feel stressed every time you hand the keys of your car to your teen driver. Your concern is understandable: As WalletHub reports, even though drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 represent only 14 percent of the drivers on the road, they cause nearly 33 percent of all auto repair bills in our country.
When it comes to the safety of teen drivers, some states fare better than others. Here, we take a closer look at WalletHub’s teen driver safety rankings for each state:
How Do You Assess Teen Driver Safety?
To arrive at its teen driver safety rankings, WalletHub looked at a variety of factors. Those factors can be divided into three categories:
- Safety conditions – WalletHub used a number of metrics to determine each state’s safety conditions, including the rate of teenage car accident fatalities, the frequency of teenage drunk driving violations and the quality of the state’s roads.
- Economic environment – This metric is based on what a state does to punish or deter poor teen driving. WalletHub considered the cost of speeding tickets and average increases in teen driver insurance premiums after accidents.
- Driving laws – WalletHub awarded credit to states that strictly enforce laws which are aimed at preventing auto accidents such as bans on the use of hand-held devices while driving.
Based on the above factors, WalletHub ranked New York as the safest state for teen drivers. New York performed well in every safety category. Oregon, Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii rounded out the top five.
On the other end of the spectrum, WalletHub found South Dakota to be the worst state for teen driver safety. Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska filled out the bottom five.
How Does New Jersey Rank for Teen Driver Safety?
WalletHub ranked New Jersey as the 11th safest state for teen drivers. Even though this was certainly not a poor ranking, it is clear that New Jersey can do significantly more to protect its teen drivers.
For instance, New York performed better than New Jersey in each of the three individual safety categories, especially in the driving laws category. While New York ranked in the top five in that category, New Jersey came in at No. 24.
WalletHub also ranked New Jersey at No. 49 when it comes to the average cost of repairs. Delaware was the only state that had a higher average cost of repairs. In other words, if your teenage driver wrecks your car in New Jersey, you could be stuck with a huge repair bill.
Teen Driving by the Numbers: Facts and Numbers Parents Need to Know
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted extensive research of the risks posed by and facing young drivers. While WalletHub defines “young drivers” as those drivers between the ages of 15 and 24, the NHTSA focuses on drivers between the ages of 15 and 20.
The following is a list of NHTSA facts that all New Jersey parents should keep in mind:
- Young drivers get into accidents at three times the rate of more experienced drivers.
- Young male drivers are twice as likely to end up in a fatal accident as their female counterparts.
- Many teenage driver accidents involve alcohol.
- Nearly 1,700 young drivers died in automobile accidents in 2013. More than 1,000 passengers, 1,100 occupants of other automobiles and 400 pedestrians also lost their lives in teenage driver accidents. An estimated 177,000 teen drivers suffered injuries in accidents in 2013.
However, things are improving. During the most recent 10-year period for which data is available, young driver fatalities fell by 51 percent. (New Jersey actually has the third lowest fatality rate for teen drivers in the country, according to WalletHub.)
Contact Our New Jersey Teen Car Accident Lawyers
If your teenager has been involved in a car accident, whether as the driver or a passenger, or if you have been injured in an accident caused by a teen driver, the experienced car accident attorneys at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., can help you.
Our team has extensive experience handling teen driver accidents throughout New Jersey and New York. For more information, contact our office today. Our initial consultations are always free.