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Decade-long decline in teen accidents offset by recent fatalities

Many of us in Connecticut may know a teen driver who has gotten into an accident. It is no secret that lack of driving experience -- combined with other factors like cellphone use and distracting passengers -- can increase the likelihood of a collision for a teenager. In recent years, however, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of fatal teen accidents across the U.S.

Since 2000, the number of teenagers killed in car accidents has dropped substantially. The numbers of 16- and 17-year-old drivers killed in car accidents have each decreased by more than half. In fact, transportation researchers reported that the number of young people getting their driver's licenses is at a 30-year low. What has some people concerned now, though, is the recent spike in fatal accidents across the country.

Three teens were recently killed in a crash in Indiana, four in an Illinois crash and five in a Texas collision. Six more were killed in an Ohio accident. At least two of the collisions involved one or more drivers running a stop sign.

Despite the fact that many states have increased restrictions on young drivers, these recent fatal accidents show that it is not enough to completely prevent accidents. Lack of experience, distracted driving and impaired driving are among the more common factors in teen accidents -- all of which are difficult to regulate. Because of this, it may be beneficial for parents to step in and help teach their children how to be safe drivers. Doing so could go a long way toward keeping teens and other motorists in Connecticut safe.

Source: CT Post, "Cluster of fatal teen car crashes belies US trend," Betsy Blaney, March 12, 2013

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