The Hidden Costs of Teenage Drivers
In American culture, getting a driver's license at 16 is considered a rite of passage. But lately, it has grown from an exciting stage of growth to a death sentence for thousands of teens every year. Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 19 -- they have the highest crash rate of any age group.
In addition, the financial implications of those statistics are staggering. Although young people ages 15 to 24 represent only 14% of the population, they account for about 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. That's not counting auto maintenance, high insurance premiums, possible traffic citations, and other vehicular incidents that can rack up expensive costs over time.
Looking ahead at the summer season, it is prudent to reflect on the fact that more teens will be obtaining their licenses during this time, when an average of 260 teens are killed in car accidents each month. More than ever, it is imperative to take precautionary measures to ensure teens' safety behind the wheel.
Using 16 key metrics, WalletHub has identified the best and worst states for teen drivers. We took a close examination of various elements -- ranging from the average cost of car repairs and the number of teen drivers in each state to impaired-driving laws and teen driver fatalities. By doing so, we aim to equip parents and other concerned adults with facts that will help them safeguard against unforeseeable events when their teens are on the road. After all, parents are the ones to shoulder both the emotional and financial burdens of their children's actions. Check out the methodology section here for more detailed information on how we ranked each state.
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