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Connecticut Has 7th Highest Rate of Summertime Teen Driver Deaths

A young girl talks on a cellphone while driving a car.

After years of declining deaths, Connecticut's teen fatal crash rate is rising fast.

During the summer, there are many fun and interesting places to drive to in Connecticut, like Mystic Seaport, Sherwood Island, and Silver Sands, to name a few. But unfortunately, driving in the summer comes with an increased risk of car accidents - especially for teens. Connecticut has the 7th highest rate of summertime teen driver fatalities in the United States.

In Connecticut, we all got an early reminder of this mounting tragedy in April when an 18-year-old in a Corvette collided with a motorcycle in Stratford, killing the rider.

We are now in the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer" - a known period of increased risk to teens and others on the road. Statistics reveal that almost 44% of fatal teen accidents in Connecticut occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Several factors contribute to this increase, including the annual uptick in travel, more free time, and more time with friends. Raising awareness can help reduce crash risk. Here's what you need to know about teen driver accidents in Connecticut.

How young drivers increase crash risk

Between 2015 and now, Connecticut has seen over 16,000 serious crashes involving young drivers. Of these crashes, 129 were fatal. Shockingly, more than 1,800 of these teen drivers did not even have a valid driver's license, according to a local news investigation.

Teenagers are more susceptible to severe and fatal crashes for several reasons. First, their lack of driving experience significantly contributes to their vulnerability on the road. Connecticut's Graduated Driver's License (GDL) program aims to mitigate this risk by mandating a combined 70 hours of classroom and on-the-road training for 16- and 17-year-old drivers.

After years of success reducing fatal crashes, teen traffic deaths started to rise a few years ago.

In addition to inexperience, young drivers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving. Peer pressure, a sense of invincibility, and a lack of understanding about the consequences of their actions further exacerbate these dangerous behaviors.

Driving tips for a safe summer

To help reduce the risks associated with teen driving, it's important to create a community that values safe driving habits. Here are some tips for safe driving during the summer months:

  1. Eliminate distractions. Avoid using mobile devices while driving. Keep your focus on the road.
  2. Follow traffic laws. When traveling to new places, it's easy to forget that traffic laws can change from county to county - even town to town. Stay alert. Obey speed limits, stop signs, and traffic signals. Adhering to these rules helps ensure your safety and that of others.
  3. Limit passengers. Connecticut's GDL program restricts teen drivers from having passengers for the first six months. Abiding by this rule reduces distractions and potential risks. Maintaining focus on the road - instead of other passengers - is good advice for drivers of all ages.
  4. Practice defensive driving. Be aware of your surroundings, anticipate potential hazards, and always maintain a safe following distance.

What to do if you're injured in an accident

If you, your teen child, or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a teenage driver in Connecticut, it is important to protect your rights and understand your compensation options right away. Legal deadlines apply to all car accidents. Vishno Law Firm is committed to providing assistance and legal representation to injured car accident victims in the New Haven and Fairfield area. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can answer your questions and help you decide what to do next.

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