11. Vehicle miles traveled per capita in the state (five-year average). This variable is from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. The factor counts for 5 percent of a state's ranking. States with a lower number of average vehicle miles traveled per capita score higher than states with a larger number of average vehicle miles traveled. The most recent data are from 2007.
For the U.S. News Best States for Teen Drivers rankings, the Advocates ratings were converted into three categories: Excellent, Insufficient, and Failing. The IIHS ratings were converted into four categories: Excellent, Satisfactory, Inadequate, and Failing. Next, the Advocates' ratings were converted into values on a 100-point scale: Excellent=100, Insufficient=50, and Failing=0. IIHS's ratings also were converted into scores on a 100-point scale: Excellent=100, Satisfactory=67, Inadequate=33, and Failing=0. Next, we converted the state-by-state statistical variables into values on a 100-point scale. The highest value in each indicator received a value equal to 100, and the other values for that ranking factor were taken as a percentage of the top state's score in that statistical indicator. We weighted the 11 ranking variables for each by the weights listed above. Next, we summed the 11 weighted ranking variables for each state to calculate the U.S. News Score used to produce the Best States for Teen Drivers rankings. The area with the highest score was ranked No. 1, and the other 50 states were numerically ranked in descending order based on their overall score rounded to the hundredth decimal place.