Missouri Is 2017’s 6th Worst State for Teen Drivers – WalletHub Study

2017’s Best and Worst States for Teen Drivers

Getting a driver’s license is considered a rite of passage in American culture. But this exciting coming-of-age has instead become a death sentence for thousands of teens each year. Motor-vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among the population aged 16 to 19, which also happens to be the age group with the highest risk of crashes.

And the financial implications are staggering. Although 15- to 19-year-olds made up only 7 percent of the population in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they racked up 11 percent of all costs resulting from motor-vehicle injuries. That’s not counting the costs of auto maintenance, insurance premiums, possible traffic citations and other vehicular incidents — expenses that can pile up over time.

To help parents ensure their teens’ safety while also safeguarding their finances, WalletHub analyzed the teen-driving environment in each of the 50 states using a collection of 21 key metrics. Our data set ranges from number of teen driver fatalities to average cost of car repairs to presence of impaired-driving laws. Read on for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.

Overall Rank
(1 = Best)

State

Total Score

‘Safety’ Rank

‘Economic Environment’ Rank

‘Driving Laws’ Rank

1

New York

77.32

1

4

4

2

Oregon

68.57

8

25

2

3

Illinois

66.69

6

17

6

4

Maryland

66.63

2

11

15

5

Washington

64.42

12

46

1

6

Louisiana

62.55

33

5

3

7

California

62.52

5

39

16

8

Delaware

61.31

22

31

5

9

New Jersey

60.53

7

22

22

10

Georgia

60.32

16

21

11

11

Alaska

59.93

14

40

12

12

Rhode Island

59.91

15

47

7

13

Massachusetts

59.24

4

23

36

14

North Carolina

59.14

28

2

16

15

Connecticut

58.76

10

29

23

16

Michigan

57.03

18

1

34

17

Tennessee

56.94

25

37

8

18

Hawaii

56.88

31

7

18

19

Utah

56.11

26

44

9

20

Virginia

56.05

9

35

31

21

Minnesota

55.89

17

8

27

22

West Virginia

55.76

35

15

10

23

New Hampshire

55.15

11

48

25

24

Texas

54.54

29

9

24

25

Kentucky

54.45

21

12

29

26

Maine

53.53

30

36

21

27

South Carolina

53.34

24

27

25

28

Indiana

52.63

23

18

32

29

Kansas

52.25

36

19

19

30

Nevada

52.11

20

26

35

31

New Mexico

51.96

37

34

13

32

Colorado

50.88

41

38

14

33

Florida

50.82

13

24

43

34

Pennsylvania

50.65

19

30

40

35

Ohio

49.14

3

33

49

36

Arkansas

48.56

40

6

30

37

Wisconsin

47.98

38

13

32

38

Alabama

47.75

42

32

20

39

Vermont

47.12

27

43

39

40

Arizona

46.48

32

41

37

41

Oklahoma

44.59

45

3

27

42

Iowa

41.87

34

20

46

43

Idaho

39.98

39

49

41

44

Mississippi

38.14

47

10

38

45

Missouri

36.55

43

14

47

46

Nebraska

35.49

46

28

44

47

South Dakota

29.85

44

16

50

48

North Dakota

26.11

49

45

42

49

Wyoming

23.53

50

50

45

50

Montana

22.12

48

42

48

Methodology

In order to determine the best and worst states for teen drivers, WalletHub analyzed the teen-driving environment in the 50 states across three key dimensions: 1) Safety, 2) Economic Environment and 3) Driving Laws.

We evaluated those dimensions using 21 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for teen drivers. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), the square root of the population was used to calculate the “Number of Residents” in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.

We then calculated the total score for each state based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.

Safety – Total Points: 50

·   Teen Driver Fatalities per 100,000 Teens: Double Weight (~10.00 Points)

·   Vehicle Miles Traveled per Capita: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)

·   Teen “Under the Influence” Traffic Violations per 100,000 Teens: Double Weight (~10.00 Points)

·   Share of Teen Drinking & Driving: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)

·   Share of Teen Texting/Emailing While Driving: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)

·   Cost of Teen Crash-Related Deaths per 100,000 Teens: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)

·   Quality of Roads: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)

·   Driving Schools per Capita*: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)

Economic Environment – Total Points: 20

·   Maximum Cost of Speeding Ticket: Half Weight (~1.54 Points)

·   Maximum Cost of Red-Light Ticket: Half Weight (~1.54 Points)

·   Maximum Amount of First-Offense Fines for Not Wearing Seat Belt: Half Weight (~1.54 Points)

·   Premium Increase After Adding Teen Driver to Parent’s Auto-Insurance Policy: Double Weight (~6.15 Points)

·   Average Cost of Car Repairs: Full Weight (~3.08 Points)

·   Average Gas Prices: Full Weight (~3.08 Points)

·   Punitiveness of Insurance Companies Toward High-Risk Drivers: Full Weight (~3.08 Points)

Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s States with the Highest & Lowest Insurance-Premium Penalties for High-Risk Drivers ranking.

Driving Laws – Total Points: 30

·    Provision of Teen Driver's Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program Laws: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)

·    Presence of Occupant-Protection Laws: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)

·    Presence of Impaired-Driving Laws: Half Weight (~3.00 Points)

·    Presence of Distracted-Driving/Texting-While-Driving Laws: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)

·    Presence of Red-Light & Speeding-Camera Laws: Half Weight (~3.00 Points)

·    Leniency Toward DUI Violations: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)

Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s Strictest & Most Lenient States on DUI ranking.

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Road Information Program, CarMD, InsuranceQuotes, the Governors Highway Safety Association, American Automobile Association and WalletHub research.

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