Best States for Teen Driving in 2021 – Massachusetts Perspective

The data from on the safest and the least safest states for teen driving is out for 2021 with Massachusetts ranked at number 8 in the safest category. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were surveyed based on 6 metrics:

  1. Number of teen fatalities per 10,000 licensed teen drivers
  2. Extent of graduated driver’s license (GDL) laws in that state
  3. Average annual cost for liability insurance for teen drivers
  4. Drinking and driving statistics
  5. Distracted driving rates for high school students (texting/emailing and driving)
  6. Seat belt use among those of high school age

Among the states, New Jersey came out on top. The top 10 states are:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Maine
  3. Rhode Island—lowest teen deaths
  4. Connecticut 
  5. Alaska 
  6. New York
  7. Illinois
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Washington 
  10. Utah

The state with most improved ranking was Rhode Island which jumped from 20th to third, followed by Maine that went from 12th to second place. 

Of course, we want to know the worst states for teen drivers as well. The top 10 worst are as follows:

  1. Montana
  2. Arkansas
  3. South Dakota
  4. Wyoming 
  5. Mississippi
  6. Kansas
  7. Missouri
  8. Arizona
  9. Louisiana
  10. District of Columbia

It should be noted that WalletHub also put out a report ranking the best and worst states for teen driving using 23 key data points in its analysis and using metrics not included in other studies such as teen fatality rates, impaired driving laws, and the cost of car repairs. Its analysis had New York as the safest state, relegating New Jersey to 10th best, and South Carolina as the worst. Massachusetts was ranked 5th best for teen drivers in that survey.

Driving Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers

Parents may recall how anxious their own parents were when they were novice drivers. No one needs to be reminded that car accidents are the number 1 or 2 cause of teen fatalities in the U.S., depending on which survey. In 2019, nearly 2,400 teens were killed in motor vehicle accidents with 258,000 suffering injuries severe enough to be treated in emergency rooms.

Parents can get involved in instructing their teenagers on how to drive and what they can do to ensure a safer experience on the roadway. Tips include:

  • Provide an example by turning off your cellphone while driving
  • Stress the importance of always wearing a seat belt
  • Show your teen how to maintain the vehicle by not ignoring warning or service lights, getting an oil change at the recommended mileage or date, and keeping the interior and exterior clean
  • For winter driving, be sure the vehicle has anti-freeze and snow tires
  • Remind your teen driver how to drive on an icy road surface
  • Constantly remind him/her not to drink and drive, and to have your teen call you or a ride-share service if they have been drinking without (too many) repercussions to them
  • Have your teen complete all available training and educational programs that can significantly lower auto insurance liability premiums

Many experts agree that GDL laws are essential in minimizing auto accidents. Massachusetts GDL laws allow drivers to apply for a GDL at age 16. The steps include:

  • 6-month learners stage
  • 40-hours of supervised driving
  • Nighttime restricted hours of 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
  • No passengers under the age of 18 for initial 6-months

Passenger restrictions are lifted at age 17, and nighttime restrictions lifted at age 18.

Driving Tips for Teen Drivers

Few things growing up are as exciting as getting your driver’s license and the freedom it offers. But while you can now drive to school or work, or to visit friends and go on road trips, driving is a major responsibility that no one should take for granted. As a teen driver, here are some tips and suggestions so that you can remain safe and enjoy your teen years:

  • Always drive defensively—anticipate other vehicles at intersections as well as pedestrians and bicycle riders
  • Be aware of your blind spots
  • Do not tailgate
  • Always wear a seatbelt 
  • Do not engage in road rage—this can lead to aggressive tactics and possible retaliation 
  • Never drink or take drugs before driving or while driving—most teen fatalities are due to impaired driving
  • Do not get in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or doing drugs regardless of what the driver says about his condition
  • Never text, email, or look at your phone while driving—it is illegal and dangerous
  • Do not speed
  • Learn how to check your vehicle’s tire pressure, oil, wipers, and other fluids
  • Avoid driving in poor weather, but also earn how to drive on an icy road surface

Damages in Car Accident Injury Claims

At the Law Office of Burns and Jain, a highly experienced car accident attorney will discuss your case and what you can expect from our office. Although the process for filing a claim and obtaining all necessary documents and other evidence to present a claim are similar in most cases, no two cases are ever alike. And if we represent you, we will aggressively prosecute your claim to the fullest extent. In many cases, we are able to find other responsible parties whose fault was not apparent at the time of the accident, and can increase the amount of compensation you can obtain. 

Damages in car accident injury claims depend on liability issues and the nature and extent of your injuries as well as other factors unique to your case that your car accident attorney can explain to you. In most cases, typical damages are:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future income loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Spousal claim for loss of consortium

For injured teens who have yet to enter the labor market, we retain forensic economists who can calculate lost income based on lost income capacity and other factors. Any delay in entering college or the labor market is also a factor experts use in determining economic damages. 

Retain a Car Accident Attorney from Burns and Jain 

If you or your teen driver was injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver or party, then our office can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our office at (617) 227-7423 for a free consultation about your injury claim.

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