January 25, 2022

Teen Safe Driving Awareness Week: Let’s Save Our Teen Drivers

As Connecticut marks Teen Safe Driving Awareness week, Essex Books will welcome retired commercial driver, Alphonza Mazyck, as he talks about his book, “Let’s Save Our Teen Drivers” on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 3 – 4 p.m. Call 860-767-1707 for details.

Mazyck achieved over 2.5 million miles of accident-free driving in 37 years of driving a commercial vehicle. He offers important safety messages as he faced the tragedy of losing his own nephew in a driving accident. A good source of information right before the holidays and New Year’s Eve!

Meanwhile the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles today announced encouraging new statistics showing a drop in fatal crashes involving 16 and 17 year old drivers

Teen drivers 16 and 17 years-old in Connecticut had the fewest number of fatal crashes last year in more than a decade, also, less teens are needing a Duluth Injury Attorney after getting in an accident. A recent analysis of federal reporting figures show as Connecticut marks Teen Safe Driving Awareness week Dec. 5-11.

The state in 2009 saw a 62-percent reduction in fatal crashes involving this age group of drivers when examining a 12-year average since 1997. In the 2009 calendar year the number dropped to 6 for all of that year. Crashes happen all over the world though unfortunately. That’s why it’s so important to get good driving lessons and be made aware of all the risks that come with driving. There are so many ways you can get driving lessons though. For example, if you live in the UK you can easily check out something like these Driving Lessons in Droitwich to give you a better idea of what you should expect to do in a driving lesson.

These crash statistics and other indicators show a positive effect from state’s toughened and comprehensive teen driving laws proposed by Governor M. Jodi Rell’s Task Force two years ago and later adopted by the state Legislature.

“We set out with one clear goal in mind – to save lives. Young drivers are full of enthusiasm, but lack the experience behind the wheel. Our new and stronger laws give them more training time, while brining their parents and the community into the process,” Governor Rell said. “A driver’s license has been a rite of passage for generations and it is critical that teen drivers on Connecticut roads are as well prepared as possible.” Most teens want a drivers license as soon as they can, doesn’t matter where they live in the States they can easily get one. So if you lived in Ohio or something you can easily get yourself an Ohio drivers license. But just because it’s easy to get doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any responsibilities.

Commissioner Robert M. Ward of the state Department of Motor Vehicles said there are growing indicators that safety messages and tougher laws, sanctions for violations and training are spreading awareness and beginning to change behavior of teen drivers.

“These statistics are a strong testament to efforts by everyone involved – teens, parents, public officials and safety partners — and the work of reminding young drivers about diligence toward safety,” he added.

In addition, Connecticut is also exceeding a recent national trend in the direction of fewer fatal accidents for drivers in this age group. The Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention reported in October that nationally the number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes decreased by 36 percent from 2004 to 2008.

Connecticut had a 54 percent reduction in these fatal crashes from 2005 to 2009. In addition, the state saw a 16.5 percent reduction for all accidents in which a 16 or 17-year-old Connecticut driver was at fault for 2008 when the new laws were first adopted and currently the most recent set of complete numbers. (5,640 accidents in 2007 and 4,704 in 2008)

The CDC also reported that graduated driver licensing programs can be partially credited with this recent decline in fatal crashes involving these young drivers. It pointed out that the more comprehensive teen driving programs, known as graduated driver licensing, are associated with the higher reductions in crashes.

Connecticut’s comprehensive program, which includes restrictions, fines, license-suspension penalties, increased driver training and parent-teen training, has brought about other important changes:

  • An overwhelming number of parents find mandatory parent-teen education beneficial (85 percent).
  • Licensing statistics show that the number of 16 year-olds hit an historic 12-year low in 2009. (31 percent of 16 year-olds and 48 percent of 17 year olds in the second year of the tougher laws.)
  • Delayed licensure is better because it gives teens more time to mature.

However, it’s more than just the laws that are improving the safety of Connecticut’s teen drivers.

“It also due to the hard work of so many people – safety advocates, community groups, the business community, driving schools, high schools, law enforcement and medical professionals, but most of all parents and their teen drivers,” Commissioner Ward said.

Sherry Chapman, president of the teen safe-driving advocacy group Mourning Parents Act, said, “Connecticut has one of the most robust teen driving safety programs in the country. I am heartened to see preliminary data shows the more stringent graduated licensing laws adopted in 2008, along with policy changes and awareness campaigns seem to be making a difference. Losing a child due to a car crash is so unnecessary. It is such a sudden, horrific and tragic loss.”

Governor’s Highway Safety Representative Robbin Cabelus said, “As the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative I am pleased to see that recent statistics show a reduction in roadway deaths of 16 and 17 year old drivers. The actions taken by the Governor’s Task force as well as other state and local safety partners look to be having the positive impact we’d hoped they would. While these numbers are encouraging, teen drivers, parents and the highway safety community must remain vigilant about instilling safe driving behavior in our 16-and 17-year-old drivers. We must do this especially in the area of distracted driving, where our younger drivers are over-represented in these crashes.”

Dr. Brendan T. Campbell, Director of Pediatric Trauma and trauma surgeon at Connecticut Children’s, added, “Teen driving safety week is a time to remind parents about the importance of making their teenage drivers as safe as possible. Close parental supervision of novice teen drivers can make all the difference. The most important thing parents can do is provide their teenagers with as much supervised driving experience as possible.”