New York Injury Law Blog

New York Rated Best State for Teen Drivers

Whether you are the parent of an adolescent or not, if you drive, walk, cycle, or bike on New York’s roads, then the safety of teen drivers, and driving laws that apply to teens, should be important to you.

In fact, teen car accidents are a leading cause of death among our nation’s youth. Teens who are under experienced, distracted, or impaired are at a high risk of causing a crash that leads to devastating injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that young people account for 30 percent of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries among males.

For drivers in New York, there is some good news. A recent study published by WalletHub concludes that of all 50 states, New York is No. 1 for teen drivers.

WalletHub Weighs 3 Factors to Determine Teen Driver Friendliness                   

WalletHub considered three main categories to determine which states are the best for teen drivers, and which states are the worst. These three factors are:

  1. Safety conditions – Safety conditions were determined by considering the number of teen fatalities per 100,000 teens; the number of vehicle miles traveled per capita; the number of teens under the influence (of drugs or alcohol) violations per 100,000 teens; and the quality of roads.
  1. Economic environment – The economic environment of a state and its teen friendliness was judged based on an evaluation of cost of a speeding ticket; cost of a red light ticket; cost of offense for not wearing a seatbelt; increase in premiums for parents adding a teen to their auto insurance policy; average cost of repairs; and highest and lowest insurance premiums for high risk drivers.
  1. Driving laws – Finally, WalletHub considered each state’s driving laws. Laws that were considered include states’ graduated driving laws; presence of occupant-protection laws; presence of impairment laws; presence of distracted driving laws; presence of red light and speeding camera laws; and strictest and most lenient laws on DUI.

How Did New York Fare?

When all of the above factors were considered, New York came in first place in the nation, although it did not receive a first-place ranking in any of the three categories listed above.

  • Safety conditions – In terms of safety conditions, New York came in fourth place. States that have safer conditions for teen drivers include Massachusetts, Delaware, and Illinois.
  • Economic environment – The economic environment is good in New York, but it’s not the best in the nation. New York ranked third in this category, with first and second place spots given to Hawaii and Michigan, respectively.
  • Driving laws – Finally, New York State came in fifth in the nation for driving laws. The four states that ranked higher than New York were Oregon, Illinois, Washington, and Louisiana. It should be noted that distracted driving laws in New York are strong. It is illegal in New York to talk on a mobile telephone while driving; compose, send, read, or access emails, text messages, or web pages while driving; view, take, or transmit photos while driving; or play games while driving, according to New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Commission.

Improving Safety for Teen Drivers in New York

While New York may have taken first place in the nation in terms of teen driver friendliness, teen driving in New York is still dangerous. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers ages 16 through 24 represent 12 percent of the licensed drivers in in New York State, but represent 20 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes.

If you’re the parent of a teen in New York, here are some things that you can do to help keep your teen safe:

  • Set an example of safe driving. It is critical for parents of teens to set an example of safe driving themselves. This means always buckling up, keeping your cool behind the wheel, putting your phone away, never getting behind the wheel after you’ve had a drink, and eliminating all distractions.
  • Take the time to teach your teen how to drive. In addition to setting an example of safe driving, you should also take the time to teach your teen how to drive safely. This means spending hours with your teen – with you in the passenger seat – as they learn the ins and outs of operating a motor vehicle. Many parents are hesitant about letting their teen drive on the highway, after dark, or in poor weather conditions. However, these are the conditions that your teen most needs to practice in when you’re in the car. Your teen will encounter these conditions eventually, so ensure that they are prepared.
  • Set some guidelines. Finally, you should set some guidelines for your teen and lay down some expectations. Make it clear to your teen that texting while driving isn’t appropriate, nor is drinking and driving. Tell your teen that if they have had a drink, you will pick them up or call them a ride rather than letting them get behind the wheel. Also express your expectations to your teen in regards to how many friends they can have in the car at once.

All other drivers – parent or not – should also help to reduce the number of accidents on New York roads by following the law, putting cellphones away, and getting road rage under control.

How Can Our Law Firm Help?

New York car accidents and teen driving accidents can be terrible. While WalletHub may have ranked New York as one of the safest states for teen drivers, dozens of teens are still killed in crashes every year.

If you have been involved in a car crash, or lost a child or loved one in a New York car accident, let our law firm help you. We will never charge you up front, and will always prioritize resolving your claim in a manner that results in you getting your maximum damages amount. For a free consultation, contact the Binghamton offices of Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, today.

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