Connecticut ranked seventh best state for teen drivers
Connecticut jumped from the 24th best state for teen drivers in 2014 to seventh best in 2015, according to personal finance social network WalletHub.
According to the personal finance social network, motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 19 — an age group that is nearly three times more likely than drivers age 20 and older to be in a fatal crash, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although people ages 15-24 represent only 14% of the population, according to the CDC, they account for 30% or $19 billion of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% or $7 billion among females.
With summer right around the corner, WalletHub decided to "reflect on the fact that more teen drivers are newly minted during this season than any other, when an average of 250 teens are killed in car accidents each month."
For its 2015 study, WalletHub used metrics that fall into three categories — safety conditions, economic environment and driving laws — to analyze the teen-driving environment in all 50 states.
Connecticut's safety conditions were ranked the sixth best in the nation, based on the following metric data:
- Number of teen driver fatalities per 100,000 teens: 3.12.
- Number of vehicle miles traveled per capita: 8,613.
- Number of "under the influence" traffic violations per 100,000 teens: 17.14.
- Quality of roads: 34%.
WalletHub noted that Connecticut had the fewest teen driver fatalities per teen population in the country.
Massachusetts ranked No. 1 in terms of overall safety conditions, while North Dakota, which had the most teen driver fatalities in the nation, ranked last.
Connecticut was ranked the eighth worst state in the nation in terms of economic environment.
Although WalletHub did not have data for the maximum cost of a speeding ticket or maximum cost of a red-light ticket in Connecticut, it determined the state's eighth-place ranking based on the following data:
- Maximum amount of first-offense fines for not wearing a seat belt: $120.
- Premium increase after adding a teen driver to a parent's auto insurance policy: 102%.
- Average cost of car repairs: $407.30.
- WalletHub's States with the Highest and Lowest Insurance Premium Penalties for High Risk Drivers ranking: 4th highest.
When it comes to premium increases, Connecticut had the fifth highest in the nation.
With the third lowest premium increases in the country, Michigan had the best economic environment in the nation, while Wyoming — which had the fourth highest premium increases — had the worst.
Connecticut's driving laws ranked 24th best in the nation. Compared to the other 50 states, the Nutmeg State has:
- Weak provisions of occupant-protection laws.
- Strong presence of impaired-driving laws.
- Strong presence of distracted-driving/texting-while-driving laws.
WalletHub also used its soon-to-be-published Strictest and Most Lenient States on DUI ranking to determine each state's driving laws. According to the study, Connecticut is the third strictest state when it comes to DUIs.
Each state's Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program laws were also analyzed for the study. GDL provisions include:
- Minimum age of 16 for a learner's permit.
- Six-month holding period.
- Requirement of 30-50 supervised driving hours.
- Nighttime driving restriction.
- Passenger restriction.
- Cell phone restriction.
- Age requirement of 18 for an unrestricted license.
Connecticut was one of the 13 states with at least five of seven optimal GDL provisions.
WalletHub found that Washington had the best driving laws in the country, while South Dakota has the worst.
WalletHub used data from the following sources to create its ranking of the Best and Worst States for Teen Drivers:
- U.S. Census Bureau.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
- Governors Highway Safety Association.
Click here for WalletHub's study on 2015's Best and Worst States for Teen Drivers.