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Teens Driving After Dark: Winter Formal Safety

By Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney on October 31, 2017

Teenagers are notorious for their driving records. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a teen driver is twice as likely to be in a fatal crash as an adult driver. In fact, accidents are the leading cause of death among 12- to 19-year-olds in the United States, with motor vehicle collisions as one-third of the total number of accidents.

If you’re a parent of a young driver, these numbers should frighten you. But they should also frighten everyone who knows a teenage driver, or who travels Connecticut’s streets. We must realize that teenage drivers are less experienced and less mature, meaning that they are particularly susceptible to accidents.

In particular, popular events such as homecoming, winter formal, high school football games, and back-to-school mixers will involve late nights and driving after dark. Parents need to take precautions to ensure their teenagers are well-educated about the dangers of driving at night, and avoid certain high-risk behaviors.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In 2015 alone, nearly 2,000 teen drivers were involved in fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes, while 99,000 teen drivers were injured. In the same year, almost 60% of 15- to 18-year-old passengers who were killed were not wearing a seat belt at the time. 20% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were driving under the influence of alcohol. Distracted driving, another common threat for teenagers, was cited as a factor in 10% of fatal teen crashes, and almost certainly involved in more than was reported.

The sad truth is that when teens are driving at night, there’s a risk that alcohol will be involved. While states have different thresholds for what constitutes driving under the influence, a driver under the age of 21 must always have a 0.0% blood alcohol level. There’s also zero tolerance for drug use among teen drivers. Parents need to educate teen drivers not only on the extreme dangers of driving under the influence, but also the severe consequences in Connecticut.

We are learning more all the time about the dangers of distracted driving. Driving while texting or using a mobile phone, eating, applying makeup, or using a GPS device – the slightest lack of focus can end in a crash. Passengers can also distract. When leaving events such as winter formal, teens should be warned not to allow their focus to be diverted by their friends in the car. Tragedy can result, and we all need a reminder beforehand.

At Naizby Law, we specialize in representing individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Connecticut. If you or a loved one has been the victim of someone else’s negligence, no matter their age, we can help you to fully recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today at (203) 245-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

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