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Hebron teen dies in accident despite tough state laws on young drivers

Another teenager has died on Connecticut roads in spite of the efforts of the legislature to curb practices that could lead to dangerous driving by newer drivers. The most recent death in a string of six fatal accidents involving teen drivers in the Greater Hartford area since the beginning of summer occurred in the early morning hours of August 6 in Hebron. According to The Courant, the girl who died was one of four passengers in a truck driven by a teen who only received his license in March. It appears that several laws meant to prevent this kind of accident from occurring were broken the night the crash happened.

Connecticut's graduated licensing law for teens

Connecticut has imposed a rigorous set of requirements on teenagers seeking drivers' licenses. In 2008, following two crashes in which multiple teenagers died, the state passed a law requiring a graduated driver licensing law to stem the tide of similar accidents. Under this law, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are three stages in the licensing process before a teen can have full driving privileges.

In the first stage, the learner stage, the person seeking licensure must be 16 years old before he or she can apply for a learner's permit, which the teen will have for either four months if enrolled in driver's education or six months if not so enrolled. During this time, the teen driver must put in 40 hours of supervised driving.

After the learner stage, a teen will be in the year-long intermediate stage, in which restrictions are placed on when a driver can operate a motor vehicle and how many people may be allowed in the vehicle with the young driver. In the first six months of this phase, a new driver may not have any passengers in the vehicle with the exception of the teen's parents or an instructor. In the second half of the year, a teen may continue to drive with parents or an instructor but also with immediate family members. During the entire stage, a young driver is prohibited from driving between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

At the age of 17 years and four months, a teenager may have passengers, and at 18 years of age may drive at any time of day or night. This is the final, or full privilege stage of the graduated law.

In the most recent accident involving a teen death, the driver, who had only been licensed for a little over four months, was driving with several passengers in his vehicle and after midnight. In addition, the girl who died was not wearing a seat belt, which caused her to be ejected from the vehicle when the collision occurred.

Talking to your young driver about the consequences of not following the laws in regard to traffic safety and graduated driver's licenses may save a life.

If you have been involved in an accident and another driver of any age was at fault, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the circumstances of your crash. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.