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New York Ranked Safest State for Teen Drivers

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Peter J. Gregory
Feb 20, 2023
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Motor-vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of death among the teen aged 16 to 19, which also happens to be the age group with the highest risk of car crashes. Thankfully, a recent study by WalletHub has shown that New York is the safest state for teen drivers. This study gives varying degrees of weight to numerous factors relating to road safety, and breaks them down into 3 primary categories: (1) Safety, (2) Economic Environment, and (3) Driving Laws. 

The first category of safety is given the most weight in the study, and consists of 10 factors adding up to 50 total points. These factors center on driver responsibility and education, also including death rates and quality of roads. The 10 factors are Teen Driver Fatalities per 100,000 Teens, Vehicle Miles Traveled per Capita, Traffic Indiscipline, Teen “Under the Influence” Traffic Violations per 100,000 Teens, Share of Teen Drinking & Driving, Share of Teen Texting/Emailing While Driving, Share of Teenagers Aged 18 to 24 Always or Nearly Always Wearing a Seatbelt, Cost of Teen Crash-Related Deaths per 100,000 Teens, Quality of Roads, and Driving Schools per Capita. 

The second category, economic environment, has 7 factors totaling 20 points which focus on the costs associated with driving. These factors include Maximum Cost of Speeding Ticket, Maximum Cost of Red-Light Ticket, Maximum Amount of First-Offense Fines for Not Wearing Seat Belt, Premium Increase After Adding Teen Driver to Parent’s Auto-Insurance Policy, Average Cost of Car Repairs, Average Gas Prices, and Punitiveness of Insurance Companies Toward High-Risk Drivers.  

The third and final category titled driving laws encompasses 6 factors, which as the name suggests, focuses on the driving laws present in the state and how strictly these laws are enforced. Adding up to 30 points the 6 factors are as follows: Provision of Teen Driver's Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program Laws, Presence of Occupant-Protection Laws, Presence of Impaired-Driving Laws, Presence of Distracted-Driving/Texting-While-Driving Laws, Presence of Red-Light & Speeding-Camera Laws, and Leniency Toward DUI Violations. 

After calculation of these factors New York placed first with a total of 72.24 points, followed not so closely by Washington (66.66), Illinois (64.15), Maryland (62.51), and rounding out the top 5, Oregon (62.01). New York placed first in the driver safety category, first in driving laws, and thirty-first in economic environment. Showing that the strict enforcement of numerous driver safety laws in New York sets it apart from the other 49 states and makes it the safest for teen drivers. 

Although teens are responsible for their own actions, parents shoulder much of the emotional and financial consequences when things go south. Parents are encouraged to teach their teens safe driving habits. Parents should also talk with their teens about the dangers of speeding, distracted driving, driving impaired, or riding with a driver who is. In areas where teen deaths resulting from car crashes are most prevalent, it’s also up to lawmakers to implement programs and policies to reduce those numbers. 

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. It is important to consult with a lawyer early to investigate your options, and preserve crucial evidence.  For assistance with these matters, please contact us to learn more.

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About the author: Peter J. Gregory is a partner with MCCM Personal Injury Lawyers in Rochester NY.  He is a trial lawyer with extensive experience resolving disputes in state and federal trial courts. As a personal injury lawyer, Gregory focuses on advising clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents caused by the carelessness or recklessness of others. Please feel free to contact him directly at or (585) 512-3506.

This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.

About MCCM

McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. is a full-service law firm based in Rochester, New York, providing high-quality legal services to businesses and individuals since 1979.  With over a dozen attorneys and a full paralegal support staff, the firm is well-positioned to right-size services tailored to each client. We are large enough to provide expertise in a broad range of practice areas, yet small enough to devote prompt, personal attention to our clients.

We represent a diverse range of clients located throughout New York State and New England.  They include individuals, numerous manufacturing and service industry businesses, local governments, and health care professionals, provider groups, facilities and associations. We also serve as local counsel to out-of-state clients and their attorneys who have litigation pending in Western New York courts.  For more information, please contact us at 585.546.2500.