xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland ranked safest state for teen drivers

Maryland was the safest state for teen drivers last year, according to a new analysis by CarInsurance.com.

The online consumer guide and independent insurance marketplace ranked states by combining five metrics: number of teen driver fatalities per 100,000 residents; strength of graduated-driving-license laws; teen drinking-and-driving rates; teen texting-and-driving rates; and average annual cost of insurance.

Advertisement

"Maryland performed well because it has a low number of teen fatal accidents, compared to rest of nation," said Michelle Megna, the site's managing editor. "It has some of strongest graduated driver license laws in country. It has some of the lowest rates of drinking and driving and texting and driving in the country."

The state's rate of teen-related fatal accidents — 0.3 per 100,000 — was the lowest in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

Advertisement

The rate of teens who acknowledged drinking and driving in Maryland dropped to 7 percent from 9 percent the previous year, the CDC reported.

"That's one of the reasons why it's No. 1," Megna said. "Those rates have dropped."

Car insurance for a teen driver costs an average of $3,599 per year, a reflection of insurance companies' perception of risk, the analysis showed.

The strength of a state's graduated-driver's-license laws — such as those requiring younger drivers to be accompanied by a parent, or prohibiting them from driving with other teens in the car — correlates strongly with teenage driving fatalities, she said.

Maryland has some of the strongest graduated-driver's-license laws in the nation, Megna said, but she encouraged the state to continue to expand them. Older teen drivers, to whom some of the laws don't apply, tend to die at higher rates than younger ones, she said. When drivers wait until they're 18 to get their licenses, they are able to bypass the restrictions that apply to younger, beginning drivers.

"Making [graduated-driver's-license] laws in place until the age of 20 would be a great recommendation," Megna said. "Even though Maryland has very strong GDL laws, more could be done."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement