Teen and young adult drivers are more likely than older, more experienced drivers to have a serious auto accident. Connecticut has implemented restrictions for drivers ages 16 and 17 to help reduce the risk of catastrophic collisions among this age group. 

If you have a teen who wants to earn a driver’s license, familiarize yourself with the applicable state laws for new drivers. 

Learner’s permit restrictions 

When your 16-year-old or 17-year-old obtains a learner’s permit, he or she may drive only with a licensed driving instructor or an adult age 20 or older who has had a license for at least four years with no suspensions. The law prohibits other passengers except for the driver’s parents or legal guardians. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt. 

Drivers who have a permit may not use handheld or hands-free electronic devices behind the wheel. This provision includes touchscreens and video displays within the vehicle. 

Teens with a permit may apply for a driver’s license after completing 40 hours of practice, 22 hours of classroom driver’s education and an eight-hour state-approved safe driving course. As a parent or guardian, you must also complete a two-hour teen driving safety course before your child can take the road test for a license. 

New license restrictions 

After passing the Connecticut driver’s license exam, a young driver may not travel with passengers except as described above for the first six months. During the second six months, he or she may also travel with other immediate family members, such as siblings. 

Drivers who are younger than 18 are also subject to a curfew. They may not drive from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. with limited exceptions for medical emergencies, religious services, school obligations and employment. 

Licensed drivers younger than 18 may not use handheld or hands-free electronic devices behind the wheel. However, drivers 18 and older can legally make calls using hands-free electronic devices. 

Following these rules carefully can help protect your child and others on the road from a serious auto accident injury.