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Report: D.C. safest place for teens to drive, South Dakota worst

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March 22, 2010—The District of Columbia is the safest place in the United States for teenagers to drive, according to a U.S. News & World Report ranking of the best states for teen drivers.

The ranking took 11 factors into account that affect teen driving safety, which included teen driver fatalities, laws regarding how quickly teens are able to earn unrestricted driving privileges, and the average number of miles residents drive within the state.

The District of Columbia ranked as the safest place for teen drivers because it has some of the most rigorous laws in the country governing driver's license requirements for teens, it bans text messaging for all drivers, and it uses automated traffic cameras to curtail speeding, according to U.S. News & World Report.

California, Colorado, Maryland and Illinois round out the top five safest U.S. states for teen drivers, according to U.S. News & World Report.

South Dakota ranked lowest on the list because it allows teenagers to drive at age 14 and has some of the nation's more lenient laws regarding driving while intoxicated or distracted, according to U.S. News & World Report.

North Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming and Oklahoma fill out the five lowest ranking states, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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