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Connecticut teen drivers responsible for many car accidents

Graduated licensing is meant to prepare teenagers for the responsibilities of driving. However, many Connecticut car accidents are reported to involve teenage drivers. Contributing factors can include immaturity that brings about risky behaviors such as speeding and drunk driving. Lack of experience may prevent them from recognizing hazardous situations and knowing how to react in emergencies.

Compliance with the laws related to the multi-stage drivers' licensing process in Connecticut will expose teenagers to a variety of driving situations during a gradual preparation period. Teens may apply for a learner's permit when they turn 16. This permit will let them practice driving skills under the supervision of a parent, guardian or licensed driving instructor. After 40 hours of supervised driving, 22 hours of theory training in a classroom and eight hours of formal safe driving instructions, a learning driver must wait for a designated period before taking a road test.

After passing that test, certain restrictions must be followed. For the first six months, restrictions include a curfew between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and no passengers except a supervising driver meeting specific requirements. Once the learning driver enters the second six months, other members of his or her immediate family may travel along as passengers, as long as the number of passengers does not exceed the number of seatbelts. The use of any mobile device is prohibited -- even if it is a hands-free device.

Unfortunately, not all teenage drivers comply with these restrictions during that critical training period, and this has led to many lives lost on Connecticut roads. A sad fact is that the victims are often friends of the driver, friends that the driver should not have permitted to ride as passengers due to the driver's license restrictions. Those who have lost loved ones in such car accidents may pursue recovery of damages by filing wrongful death claims in a civil court. If there is a separate owner of the vehicle, that person may also be named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Source: teendriving.aaa.com, "Licensing & State Laws", Accessed on Aug. 27, 2016

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