Study Reveals the Best States for Teen Drivers
Teens on the verge of turning 16 are probably most excited about the prospect of finally getting their driver's license and having the ability to cruise around town. However, as exciting as it may be, driving comes with risks - especially when the drivers are young and lack experience behind the wheel.
Teens actually account for 30 percent of the total costs of car accident injuries in the U.S. despite comprising only 14 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you are the parent of a teen who is about to become a driver - or one who recently earned his or her license - you may be interested to learn that West Virginia ranks fairly high on the list of best states for teen drivers.
WalletHub Gives West Virginia a Top 20 Ranking for Teen Driver Safety
A study conducted by WalletHub ranked states according to safety conditions, economic environment and driving laws to create a list of the best places for teen drivers by state.
The personal finance website ranked West Virginia at No. 19 on its list. WalletHub based this overall ranking on West Virginia's ranking in the follow individual categories:
- Safety conditions - No. 37
- Economic environment - No. 19
- Driving laws - No. 8.
The states topping the list, in order, were New York, Oregon, Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii.
While Delaware ranked fourth overall on the list, it was awarded first place for safety - arguably the most important consideration in the study. Its fourth place spot was likely a result of the fact that it ranked No. 44 for "economic environment," which refers to the cost of traffic offenses and repairs, according to an article about the study on the website, TheTruthAboutCars.com.
The state that ranked last on the WalletHub list was South Dakota, with Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming joining the state in the bottom five.
All of these states ranked pretty terribly in all three categories. In terms of safety conditions, all states ranked between No. 39 and No. 50 overall.
How Can You Make Your Teen Driver Safer?
If you are a parent, you should pay attention to the findings of the WalletHub study. After all, auto accidents are a leading cause of teen deaths every year in the U.S. In order to enhance your teen's safety on the road, you should reinforce that they do the following:
Never text and drive. Distracted driving is a top killer of teens in West Virginia and across the country every year. The safest teen drivers are those who choose to drive distraction-free, especially cell phone-free. Texting and driving - due to the nature of the distractions involved - is a special concern. If you are the parent of a teen driver, make sure to talk with him or her about turning the cell phone off and storing it in an appropriate - yet not tempting - location when driving.Always drive sober. Even if you think that your teen is one who would never consume alcohol, talk to your teen about drinking and driving and remind your teen that finding an alternative way home if he or she has consumed even one drink is always preferable to getting behind the wheel. You should also warn your teenager to never get into a car that is driven by someone who has consumed alcohol.[/su_column]
Watch your speed. Teens may be tempted to speed behind the wheel - to show off for friends or because they lack patience and want to arrive at their destination quickly. Whatever the reason, crashes that occur when a vehicle is traveling at high speeds can be catastrophic. Speed limits are in place for a reason. Violating them can result in both a ticket and serious injuries to your teen driver and others they encounter.[/su_column]
Practice, practice, practice. If your teen does not have a lot of experience behind the wheel, make sure you give the teen plenty of practice with you in the passenger's seat before you hand over the keys for good. Remember: Do not just practice in ideal conditions that fail to mimic real life. Instead, take your teen out driving when it is dark outside or when it is raining. Don't avoid the highway. If your teen gets the exposure he or she needs while you are there to assist, the teen will be more prepared for adverse conditions when you are not around.[/su_column]
Contact an Experienced West Virginia Teen Accident Attorney Today
A motor vehicle accident involving a teenager can be tragic. If your teen has been in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, let our experienced Charleston, West Virginia car crash attorneys represent you throughout the claims process. We can help you to establish the negligence of the other driver, assess your total damages and pursue a fair settlement.
If you need legal help, do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC for a free consultation. We are committed to helping accident victims and improving the safety conditions for teen drivers and others in our state.