New Jersey Among Top 10 Best States for Teen Drivers
New Jersey ranks 10th in the nation as one of the best states for teen drivers, according to a recent study released by WalletHub.
An average of 250 auto-related teen deaths occur every month in the summer according to the study, which lists New York as the safest state, with Oregon coming in second. Meanwhile, Montana ranked 49th and South Dakota finished last.
Jessica Gonzalez, spokeswomen of Wallethub said the metrics include different categories such as economic environment, driving laws, safety conditions, teen driver fatalities, under the influence violations and quality of the road.
Economic environment refers to the value of tickets such as speeding, red light violations, seat belt wearing, impaired driving laws and cost of car repairs.
According to Gonzalez, New Jersey is fifth lowest for teen fatalities. This means for every 100,000 teen drivers there are only about four deaths. Other places like North Dakota and Montana have more than 30 per 100,000.
New Jersey is doing great because of the laws, she said. The Garden State has a strong distracted driving law, especially when it comes to texting while driving. Many states also have a distracted driving law, but not legislation that focuses specifically on texting while driving. New Jersey also has laws regarding occupant protection. New Jersey teens have to maintain a learner’s permit for one year as well as supervised hours before obtaining a license. Teens also need to have evening curfews and a limit of one person at a time in the car.
One area in which New Jersey's rank drops involves offenses for driving while intoxicated or under the influence. The Garden State is 23rd in teen DUIs, which is slightly above average.
“For every 100,000 teens there are about 26 traffic violations for under the influence laws,” Gonzalez said. That's based on the number of arrests, so there could be more violations that have not been documented, she added.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS
Parents are advised to talk to their child about the dangers of drinking and driving so that teens are more aware.
According to Gonzalez, adding a teen to your insurance policy will raise your premium. The premium ranks 11th most cost-effective in New Jersey, and the policy will increase 75 percent. In other places such as Road Island and New Hampshire it increases more than 100 percent.
Some states can change a few things to make sure their teens drive safety. A lot of states can learn from the Garden State, Gonzalez said.
“I think that New Jersey is setting the forefront for most of them,” Gonzales said.