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Kentucky is Best & Worst for Teen Drivers

While there are not as many teenagers behind the wheel in Kentucky as in most other states, the number of fatal wrecks is one of the highest in the nation.

Out of the 50 states (ranked 1-50 with 1 being the best), Kentucky ranked 49th in teen driver fatalities per licensed drivers, according to the recent study, “Best and Worst States for Teens Drivers” by WalletHub.com, a website launched two years ago by Evolution Finance Inc. The site is designed, according to editors, to help consumers “make better financial decisions and save money.”

Given that Kentucky’s fatality rank was so low, you might think the state simply has more teen drivers than other states. However, Kentucky ranked third in teen drivers as a percent of total drivers. Also, it ranked fourth in percent of teen population with driver’s licenses.
 
The good news is that Kentucky was the best in terms of the state’s distracted-driving/texting-while-driving laws. This shows that despite the number of fatalities, the state has and continues to make efforts to crack down on drivers, adults as well as teens, and stop more accidents from happening.
 
Other rankings for the Bluegrass were somewhat scattered across the board. The state was 31st in number of teen “under the influence” traffic violations per licensed drivers, 11th in premium increase after adding a teen driver to your auto insurance, 35th in average cost of car repairs and 12th in both impaired driving laws and quality of roads.
 
Indiana (ranked 26th overall) had rankings similar to Kentucky. It was first in percentage of teen population with driver’s licenses and 50th in most fatalities.
 
However, Indiana was also 48th in number of teen “under the influence” traffic violations by licensed teens. Coincidentally, that state was third on the list of the best states for teen driver’s Graduated Driver Licensing Laws.
 
The 11 states that made that list, which Kentucky was not on, had to have five of the seven GDL provisions in place. Those are: minimum age 16 for learner’s permit, six-month holding period, 30-50 hours supervised driving, nighttime driving restriction, passenger restriction, cell phone restriction and age 18 for unrestricted license.
 
Other states in the surrounding area on that list were Illinois (third overall) and Ohio (33rd overall).
 
Overall, Kentucky ranked 15th, which also considered the statistics concerning safety conditions (16th), economic environment (24th) and driving laws (18th).
 
Apparently, many teenagers think laws are meant to be broken. Who expected that?
 
To see the complete list with all state ranking, click here.
 
To read more on KyForward about WalletHub studies, see Stay in Lexington or Cincinnati this summer; both named in top 20 cities for a ‘staycation’.
 
This story originally appeared at KY Forward and is written by Erin Grigson is a senior at the University of Kentucky, where she is studying journalism and music education.

Photo via Teen Driver Source