‘Teen Driver Safety Week’ kicks off to encourage safe driving habits

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A push to keep young drivers safe on the road. ‘Teen Driver Safety Week‘ is a campaign to remind parents and young drivers just how important it is to practice safe driving habits.

This week is about reminding young drivers and parents of young drivers just how important safe driving habits are for them and for everyone else on the road, too.

Car crashes are the number one cause of death for kids from 15 to 18 years old. Connecticut changed the laws almost ten years ago to try to make things safer for teen drivers, and the state says it is working. We’re talking about the rules like, new drivers can’t have another teen in the car with them, you can’t drive late at night until you’re 18, can’t talk on a phone even if it’s hands-free.

Related: National Teen Safe Driver Week gets underway

A federal study shows that since those restriction went into effect, there’s been a 53 percent decline in the number of people killed in crashes involving a 16 or 17-year-old driver. Laws can only do so much, however. Teens have to be reminded to follow them. The biggest dangers to teen drivers continue to be alcohol, not using seat belts, distracted driving, drowsy driving and the distraction of passengers in the car. Those are all things that can be avoided.

One way to get teens thinking about safe driving is a statewide contest the DMV holds where students make their own videos about safe driving. It’s sponsored by Travelers and more than 3,500 students have taken part so far.

Connecticut is making progress, but across the country, teen drivers are involved in deadly crashes at the rate of more than 5 per day.