Summer is a popular time of year for teens to get their license. If a teenager in your household is about to get his or her license, it could mean a lot more worry and a bigger insurance headache. Fortunately, a new study finds Massachusetts families with teen drivers are in for better driving experiences than most other states.
Consumer finance site WalletHub recently looked at the driving conditions for teenagers in all 50 states based on 16 key metrics and determined that Massachusetts is the sixth best state for teen driving conditions. The only other New England state to outperform Massachusetts was Rhode Island.
Here’s how Massachusetts earned such high marks from WalletHub’s study. Next
Distracted driving laws
WalletHub’s study gave Massachusetts the highest grade possible for its distracted driving laws. The “Safe Driving Law,” which went into effect in September 2010, bans sending, typing, or reading text messages while behind the wheel. The law also bans teen operators from using cell phones while driving.
Teen driver fatalities
Safety is probably the metric that concerns most parents when it comes to their teen driver. While WalletHub’s study only looks at statistics, it has favorable news for local teens. Massachusetts ranked sixth for the fewest teen driver fatalities per licensed teen driver compared to other states.
The Commonwealth was outperformed by two other New England states in this category, Vermont and Connecticut. Next
Impaired driving laws/violations
While not the best in the nation according to WalletHub’s study, Massachusetts still scored well in terms of the state’s impaired driving laws, coming in at 12th place. However, Massachusetts performed better in terms of having fewer teen “under the influence” traffic violations. WalletHub’s study placed the Bay State in eighth place for having the fewest teen drunk driving incidents per licensed teen driver. Next
If you are a parent and plan on adding a teenager to your insurance plan, you’re probably expecting to pay more. Fortunately, the increase won’t be as bad for Massachusetts parents. According to WalletHub’s study, Massachusetts consumers experience the fourth lowest rate of premium increase after adding a teenage driver to their car insurance. Of course, this news is probably serves as small comfort once you get the bill. Next
Population of teen drivers
As far as the number of teen drivers on the road, Massachusetts performed well again, according to WalletHub’s study. The Commonwealth came in 13th in terms of teen drivers as a percentage of total drivers, meaning teen drivers represent a lower percentage of the total driving population.
Massachusetts also ranked 15th (again, on the lower end) for the percent of Commonwealth’s total teen population with a driver’s license. Next
In terms of car maintenance, Massachusetts starts to lose its edge. WalletHub’s study puts Massachusetts in 27th place in terms of the average cost of car repairs.
Meanwhile, neighboring New England state Vermont took the top spot in this category. Next
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has driven on any given road in Massachusetts that WalletHub ranked the state poorly (46th place) in terms of its road quality. Next
Graduated Driver Licensing Programs
WalletHub also looked at the quality of graduated driver license (GDL) program laws in every state based on the following seven provisions: 1) A minimum of age 16 to obtain a learner’s permit; 2) a 6-month holding period; 3) 30-50 hours supervised driving; 4) nighttime driving restrictions; 5) passenger restrictions; 6) cell phone restrictions; 7) age 18 for an unrestricted license.
Massachusetts was among 11 states with the best GDL programs for meeting at least five out of the seven provisions. Back to the beginning
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