Georgia one of best states for teen drivers, analysis finds

Georgia ranks in top 10 of WalletHub's best states for teen drivers.The Peach State was tops in the nation for presence of distracted/ texting-while-driving laws.We were 11th for provision of teen driver’s graduated licensing program laws.12th for driving laws.And 23rd premium increase after adding teen driver to parent’s policy

Most people remember the day they got their driver’s license. If you were lucky enough to have a vehicle, it meant independence from the parental units, and opportunities for dating, working and fun.

This rite of passage also comes with responsibilities and financial obligations, for the teen and for their parents.

“Motor vehicle crashes involving 13- to 19-year-olds result in around $40.7 billion per year in costs from medical expenses and work loss,” WalletHub wrote. “That’s not counting the costs of auto maintenance, insurance premiums, possible traffic citations and other vehicular incidents — expenses that can pile up over time.”

These obligations aren’t equal across the states, according to the financial website’s analysis of 2023′s best and worst states for teen drivers.

For it’s ranking, WalletHub analyzed the teen driving environment in all 50 states across three key dimensions: safety, economic environment and driving laws.

It then evaluated those dimensions using 23 relevant metrics, each graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for teen drivers.

When the scores were tallied, Georgia finished with 56.78, ranking it No. 10 in the nation.

In each of the three key dimensions, the Peach State finished:

  • 16th: safety
  • 35th: economic environment
  • 12th: driving laws

Among the relevant metrics, Georgia finished:

  • 1st: presence of distracted-driving/texting-while-driving laws
  • 6th: quality of roads
  • 7th: presence of occupant-protection laws
  • 11th: provision of teen driver’s graduated licensing program laws
  • 14th: DUIs per 100,000 teens
  • 23rd: premium increase after adding teen driver to parent’s policy
  • 25th: presence of impaired-driving laws
  • 27th: driver fatalities per 100,000 teens

“Driving is a skill that requires practice, so supervised opportunities for teens to practice driving are essential. There is more to driving than just the physical operation of a motor vehicle,” Joanna Lee Williams, associate professor at Rutgers University, told WalletHub. “New drivers have a lot to learn — from laws, road signs and driving etiquette, to how to be aware of and respond to unanticipated events and hazards.

“Parents can support teens by ensuring they have many driving practice hours under the guidance of an experienced adult driver,” she added. “Parents can also narrate their own driving decisions while their teen is a passenger, like ‘I am turning right at the next block, so I am putting my turn signal on,’ or ‘It is starting to rain, and in our state, we have to turn our headlights on when we turn our windshield wipers on.’ Lastly, parents should always model safe driving to their teens, including fastening seat belts and not using cell phones while driving.”