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Is Texas among the best -- or the worst -- for teen drivers?

While the summer is supposed to be one of the more relaxing times of the year, it's likely been anything but for the many parents with newly-licensed teen drivers in their households. That's because at some point they have had to let their children get behind the wheel on their own, and take to roads and highways that don't seem to have gotten much safer for novice drivers.

Indeed, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 are at the highest risk of being involved in a car accident, and that car accidents are also leading cause of death among this age group. 

Interestingly enough, the personal finance website WalletHub recently released its annual report outlining the "Best and Worst States for Teen Drivers," and, as usual, the results were very interesting.  

How exactly did WalletHub arrive at these rankings?

Using data from organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Bureau of Investigation, the team of researchers identified 16 different metrics ranging from teen driving fatalities and teen DUIs to costs of car repairs and presence of Graduated Driver Licensing programs.

They then awarded each of the states a score of 0-100 (100 being the best) for each of the 16 metrics, and ranked them according to their overall performance in three categories, including safety conditions, economic environment and driving laws.

What states were found to be the best for teen drivers?  

The top five best states for teen drivers were New York (1), Oregon (2), Illinois (3), Delaware (4), and Hawaii (5).

What states were found to be the worst for teen drivers?  

The top five worst states for teen drivers were South Dakota (50), Wyoming (49), North Dakota (48), Montana (47) and Nebraska (46).

How did Texas fare in the report?

Overall, Texas came in at number 24. While the Lone Star State earned high marks for such factors as impaired driving laws (first) and laws protecting vehicle occupants (fifth), it ranked in the middle of the pack for factors like DUIs (24) and number of teen driver deaths (28), and near the bottom for factors like average cost of vehicle repairs (36) and presence of distracted driving laws (42).

Here's hoping that lawmakers not just in Texas, but in all the other states, recognize the areas where they need improvement and make the necessary adjustments to help keep teens safe behind the wheel.

If you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by the recklessness of another, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can fight for justice on your behalf.

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