So what is a leading cause of injury and death for teens in Connecticut?
And what is perhaps the top cause of those accidents? Texting or using a cell phone while driving. So what percentage of young Connecticut drivers in a just-released state survey** text and drive? Over 50% do it. The practice is illegal and lethal.
In addition, 51 percent of Connecticut teen drivers reported texting or e-mailing while driving at least once a month time.
“I think distracted driving is a safety hazard, and it’s alarming and it’s against the law,” said Diane Aye, a state epidemiologist who helped conduct the 99-question survey for the State.
And if that is not bad enough, 25% of teens admitted to recently riding with a teen driver who was intoxicated while 10% admitted to have been drinking and driving themselves. Ten percent of teen drivers also admit to never or rarely wearing their safety belts while riding in a car.
So what can be done?
First – parents must get involved.
- Warn your children that cell phone use is a top cause of teen deaths.
- Remind them that the practice is illegal… and comes with significant penalties:
For a teen caught using a cell phone or text messaging: first offense: $125 fine, 30-day license suspension and a $175 license restoration fee; second offense: $250 fine, 90-day license suspension and a $175 license restoration fee; third offense: $400 fine, 6-month license suspension, and a $175 license restoration fee.
- Remind them that drinking and driving is lethal – and if they are caught before an accident occurs the consequences are grave. For a first offense they will face one or all of the following penalties:
- Jail – 48 Hour Minimum up to 6 Months
- Community Service – 100 Hours if Jail Suspended
- Fine – From $500 to $1,000
- License Suspension – 45 days or until teen reaches 18th birthday, whichever is longer. As a condition of restoration of the teen’s license, an ignition interlock device must be installed on each motor vehicle operated by the teen. For one year following the restoration of the teen’s license, the teen may not operate a motor vehicle unless it is equipped with an ignition interlock device.
- Complete Alcohol Education and Treatment Program
- Vehicle Towed and Impounded for 48 Hours
It is also important that parents and other adults lead by example – from the time a child is very young through their teenage years. Don’t use your cell phone while driving, NEVER text and drive, NEVER drink and drive – and talk to your children about why safety belts matter.
We can keep our kids safe – if we all work at it.
If you or your child are ever the victim of a car accident in Connecticut, it is important to gather all the information you can and then call a qualified Connecticut car accident lawyer. A knowledgeable car accident attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled thousands of car accident cases over our more than 55 years serving the people of Connecticut. Our car accident lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of car accident cases including:
- Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms”….. for more on our honors and awards, click here.
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