WASHINGTON (CIRCA) - For many teens, getting a driver’s license is a badge of honor officially marking entry into the adult world.
This coming-of-age distinction, however, is contrasted with a chilling statistic: motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for United States teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In fact, 15- to 19-year-olds made up 7 percent of the population but totaled 11 percent of all costs resulting from motor-vehicle injuries in 2013, a CDC study said. With numbers like these, it's a wonder what types of environments can help ensure teen safety on the roads.
Five states seem to have figured it out.
After conducting an extensive study to improve these statistics, WalletHub analyzed and ranked the teen-driving environments in all 50 states.
Here are the top five states WalletHub ranked as the best for teenage drivers:
5. Delaware: With the nation’s toughest driving laws, Delaware comes in at number five on the list.
4. Illinois: Illinois is more than home to the Windy City -- it also has some of the safest drivers.
3. Maryland: Coming in at number three, "The Free State" is nearly free from danger on the roads.
2. Washington: With the strongest driving laws on the list, Washington ranks as the first runner-up for safest state.
1. New York: Apparently, never sleeping comes with some benefits — New York was ranked as the No. 1 safest state for teenage drivers.
WalletHub also ranked states with the most and fewest number of teenage fatalities per teen population, those with the fewest and most teen DUIs, and more.