The most dangerous year in a person's life is the 12 months after they get their driver's license.
So, the Newington Children's Theatre Company is teaming up with the Connecticut Children's Medical Center: Injury Prevention Center, the Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council to present Get It In Gear, a free 25-minute performance using sketch comedy and real-life experiences to help parents become good coaches for their new teen drivers.
The show began with The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago which toured around to various locations in the United States with this safe driving message.
"We said, 'Hey, that's really interesting but wouldn't it be great if we got students to do it?'" explains Kevin Borrup, Associate Director of the Injury Prevention Center at CCMC, who believes these real-life actors will really reach the audience in a fun and relevant way. "It's impressive to see the young high school actors doing the show! Very funny!"
The skits are aimed at parents, showing them how to be effective coaches, role models and supervisors when their sons and daughters get behind the wheel of a car.
The consequences of a car accident can be very serious.
"The risk for 16 to 19 year olds is four times the risk of a 35 to 54 year old," says Borrup, referencing national statistics from DriveItHome.org. Also, 60% of fatalities in teen driver crashes are victims other than the youth driving, such as passengers in different cars involved in the accident.
In addition to the group at NCTC, students at the Hartford Public School's Law & Government Academy and Glastonbury Youth Services are also working on upcoming performances.
The NCTC show, meant to engage teens and parents in a dialogue about driving behaviors, will be held at 743 North Mountain Road in Newington on May 15th at 8pm.