Teen Drivers May Be Safer in New Jersey Than Other States
According to a recent article from NorthJersey.com, a new study suggests that teen drivers may be safer on New Jersey’s roads than in other states. The state has made numerous efforts to put laws into place aimed at preventing car accidents and keeping teen drivers safe while they are behind the wheel.
The article explains that, although insurance premiums rose by an average of nearly 80% for New Jersey drivers aged 16 to 19 last year, those teens may be less likely to get hurt in a car accident than teenaged drivers in nearby states. The article cites a recent ranking of teen driving safety in which New Jersey is listed as the “11th-best state for teen drivers.” How is such a determination made? The researchers behind that study looked to a number of factors, including but not limited to:
- Safety conditions;
- Economic issues in the state; and
- State-specific driving laws.
In New Jersey, lawmakers have focused on putting laws into place that curb some of the more common risky driving behaviors in which teens often engage. The article indicates that, among all 50 states in the nation, New Jersey “ranked first in laws barring distracted driving and texting behind the wheel.” In addition, New Jersey also ranked “first in laws that limit the number of passengers and driving hours for those in their first year of licensure.” The state also did well in terms of teen-driver fatalities (in which it ranked third overall), and in occupant safety laws, such as seat-belt restraint laws (in which it ranked fifth overall).
In addition to the above, New Jersey has a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program in place for first-time drivers. It requires new drivers and those under the age of 21 to “complete a period of supervised driving before getting a basic driver license.” Drivers are also introduced to the road and the privileges of driving in phases.
Teen Driving Accident Statistics
While New Jersey might be safer for teen drivers than other states, teen car accident injuries and fatalities continue to occur. What do you need to know about motor vehicle safety and teenagers? According to a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), parents should understand the following facts and figures:
- In 2013 alone, nearly 2,200 teens sustained fatal injuries in car accidents while more than 243,000 required treatment in emergency departments;
- Young drivers aged 15-24 account for 30% of all motor vehicle accidents while only accounting for about 14% of the population;
- Male drivers are about two times as likely as female drivers to be involved in a fatal traffic collision;
- Risk of a car accident increases when teen drivers have other teenaged passengers in the car; and
- Risk of a crash is particularly high during the first month in which a teenager has a driver’s license.
Hopefully the teen fatality rate will decrease as a result of the NJ laws in place to help promote teen driving safety. In the event that your teenager has been involved in an accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney to determine his or her rights.