With prom season in full swing and the school year ending, CarInsurance.com conducted an analysis of safety and insurance cost factors to see which states have the best driving environments for teens.
The analysis comes at a time when the latest numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show an increase in the number of teen driver-related fatal accidents.
The 2015 figures show that young drivers were involved in 1,886 fatal accidents. This is a 9 percent jump from 2014 (1,886 vs. 1,723). Teen drivers were also involved in 14 percent more crashes in 2015, according to the NHTSA.
Kara Macek, senior director of communications and programs at the Governors Highway Safety Association, (GHSA) says some of the reasons behind the increase are an improved economy, so teens have more disposable income, people traveling more, and lower gas prices. Teens using social media and messaging apps behind the wheel also play a large role.
CarInsurance.com analyzed five factors for all 50 states and the District of Columbia:
Number of teen driver fatalities per 100,000 population
Effectiveness of Graduated Driving License components
Teen drinking and driving rates
Teen emailing/texting and driving rates
Average annual insurance costs for teen drivers, which is a reflection of the risk level for this driving group
Maryland topped the list as the safest state for teen drivers at No. 1, while Montana finished in last at No. 51. See the complete report, "Teen driving safety: Least and most dangerous states," that includes detailed information for each state or click through this slideshow to see the top five and bottom five states.