Connecticut's strict teen driving laws have now been in place for four years, and the data regarding teen fatal accidents continues to be encouraging. Connecticut has seen a 34 percent decline in motor vehicle accidents involving teenage drivers in recent years, which is particularly significant when compared to the average decline nationally of just 26 percent.
According to Connecticut's Department of Motor Vehicles, the number of fatalities resulting from accidents caused by teen drivers fell to just four in 2011. This figure is down from nine fatal accidents caused by teen drivers in 2010.
Additionally, just two teen drivers died in car accidents in 2010. Before the laws were implemented, in 2007, seven teenage drivers died in motor vehicle accidents.
The graduated driver's license laws were established in 2008. They provide for several restrictions on teen drivers and harsh penalties for failing to adhere to the laws. For instance, the number of passengers that teenagers are allowed to have in their vehicles at a given time is restricted and teenage drivers have a curfew. Teen drivers are prohibited from using any type of cellphone while driving. If they violate that ban, their license is suspended.
In addition to the decrease in the number of fatal accidents, the number of times the law has had to be enforced also reflects positively on its effectiveness. According to the DMV, the number of convictions for both traffic violations and failure to adhere to the graduated driver's license laws has declined thus far in 2012, when compared to the year prior.
Law enforcement officials believe the laws have been successful, and with additional involvement by parents, will continue to be effective.
Source: CT Post, "Fewer deaths since teen driver laws," Tom Cleary, September 11, 2012.
Our firm handles situations in which family members lose a loved one in a motor vehicle accident. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Connecticut fatal car accident page.