Without question, one of the most stressful moments in the life of any parent is when their child is old enough to start driving. Indeed, this stress has only been exacerbated in recent years, as moms and dads not only have to worry about things like speeders and impaired drivers, but also distracted drivers.
There is good news for parents here in Maryland, however, as a recently released study by an independent insurance marketplace and consumer guide recently ranked the Old Line State as the safest in the nation for teen drivers.
Earlier this month, CarInsurance.com released its annual analysisof teen driving safety across the nation, ranking the 50 states based on five metrics:
- Number of teen driving deaths per 100,000 residents
- Strength of graduated licensing laws
- Texting and driving rates among teens
- Drinking and driving rates among teens
- Average annual cost of insurance
As to why Maryland moved into the top slot from after taking second place in 2016’s survey, the researchers point to an impressive performance in four of the five metrics:
- The rate of teen driving deaths was lowest in the nation at 0.3 per 100,000 residents.
- The rate of teens who acknowledged drinking and driving dropped from 9 percent to 7 percent.
- The rate of teens who acknowledged texting while driving was 26 percent, the lowest in the country.
- The state’s graduated licensing laws, which call for certain driving restrictions like passenger restrictions and curfews, are among the strictest in the nation.
As for the average annual cost of insurance — $3,599 per year — this certainly wasn’t one of the worst in the nation, but rather somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Regarding what the state can do ensure it maintains its place at the top, the study authors encourage further strengthening graduated licensing laws.
“Making [GDL] laws in place until the age of 20 would be a great recommendation,” said the primary author. “Even though Maryland has very strong GDL laws, more could be done.”
The states taking the top four spots after Maryland as safest for teen drivers included New York (2), Pennsylvania (3), Connecticut (4) and Massachusetts (5). On the opposite end, those determined to be the least safe for teen drivers included Montana (51), North Dakota (50), Kansas (49), Wyoming (48) and Alabama (47).
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by the reckless actions of another behind the wheel, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options.