Teen drivers are now less likely to crash on the road, and Connecticut officials are partly attributing that decline to tougher laws passed in 2008.
A state report shows teen crashes have declined by 13.8 percent from 2009 to 2012 (the most recent years available). Fatalities have dropped 91 percent since 2002.
“Both of these statistics are evidence, safety advocates also say, that the laws and educational outreach are working,” the report stated.
After high-profile crashes involving teens in 2007, officials began working to toughen the state laws. There’s now an earlier 11 p.m. curfew time, more restrictions on passengers and harsher penalties for violations.
A problem facing safety advocates is the prevalence of cell phone. A survey released this summer by the state Department of Public Health showed that more than half of all teen drivers admitted to talking on the phone while driving. Fifty-one percent of teens said they texted or checked their email, as well.