Many of us received a driver’s license at the age of 16, and we have been driving ever since. It has been the standard for so long that it can seem strange to even consider another option, but over the past decade, there have been slight changes to the legal driving age, with some states raising the legal age to 18. The question of safety as it pertains to teenage drivers is an important one, since drivers in their late teens have a higher crash rate than any other age demographic.
The numbers don’t lie: teenagers on average get in more fatal car accidents than adults. In addition to the emotional impact of these tragedies, there is also a substantial financial concern, since drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 account for nearly a third of motor vehicle injury costs, and this despite being only 14% of the population.
But there is good news for Massachusetts parents and teen drivers. Research has been conducted to find where each state ranks in teen driver safety. The study took into account many variables, including number of teen drivers per state and teen driver fatalities. The results placed Massachusetts in sixth place, just shy of the top five states.
Much of this high safety rating can likely be attributed to Massachusetts’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) program, which requires more strict guidelines for teens to get their license. If you have a teenage child who is about to begin the GDL, do your best to ensure that they are safe on the road. If they do get into an accident, contacting an attorney can help you determine who was at fault.