Study Ranks Oklahoma Among Top 10 Dangerous States For Teen Drivers

Monday, October 15th 2012, 2:57 pm
By: News 9

A five-year study puts Oklahoma among the top 10 dangerous states for teen drivers.

Erie Insurance worked with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to analyze data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to find out how states compare in crash rates when teens are behind the wheel. They analyzed data from 2006-2010 to determine the rankings.

According to the study, Oklahoma ranks the 7th most dangerous state for teen drivers. The deadliest month for Oklahoma teenage drivers is July with the most fatal crashes occurring on Saturdays.

Deadly car crashes are the number one killer for teens aged 16 to 19 in the U.S. In fact, more teen drivers are involved in car crashes every year, and more are killed, than any other age group. These accidents are mostly preventable, caused by bad decisions and inexperience.

Tips for safe driving:

  • Wear your seatbelt: Teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use of any age group and failure to use a seatbelt is the main reasons teens die in a car crash.
  • Focus on the road: You're four times more likely to get into an accident when using a cell phone. Any kind of distraction -- phone, food, etc. -- can spell disaster.
  • Limit the number of passengers: Teens are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash with passengers in the car than without.

The most dangerous state for teen drivers is Wyoming while the safest area is Washington DC.

Top 10:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Montana
  3. Mississippi
  4. Alabama, Arkansas and West Virginia (tied)
  7. Oklahoma
  8. South Dakota
  9. Kentucky
10. North Dakota

Check the interactive map for other states' rankings!

"Inexperience combined with a never ending list of distractions can add up to a deadly combination for teen drivers," said Karen Kraus Phillips , vice president at Erie Insurance. "Our goal is to reduce the high number of teen injuries and deaths that happen on the road every year. We think we've found an engaging way for teens to spread the word about protecting themselves on the road."

Erie Insurance has launched a new program to help reduce the teen death rate. Shift is a safe driving program that teaches teens how to make smart choices behind the wheel. Through the program, teens can earn points just for watching and sharing the safe-driving message to compete for $20,000 in cash and prizes for teens and their schools.

Find out how to Join the Shift!