On December 2, 2006, Timothy Hollister‘s seventeen-year-old son, Reid, the driver, died in a one-car accident. On a three-lane Interstate highway that he probably never had driven before, on a dark night just after rain had stopped, and apparently traveling above the speed limit, he went too far into a curve before turning, then over-corrected, and went into a spin. While the physics of the moment could have resulted in any number of trajectories, his car hit the point of a guardrail precisely at the middle of the driver’s-side door, which crushed the left-side of his chest.
Reid’s accident was a precursor to a string of horrific accidents in Connecticut. Reading news accounts of these accidents, Tim reflected more intently on how he had – or hadn’t – controlled Reid’s driving. These tragedies focused him – and indeed, our entire state – on the dangers of teen driving.
In November 2007, Connecticut’s Governor M. Jodi Rell appointed a Teen Safe Driving Task Force to revise and strengthen Connecticut’s Graduated Driver Laws, and appointed Tim as one of the “bereaved parents” on that task force. In four months in early 2008, the Task Force rewrote Connecticut’s rules from top to bottom, and the Governor signed Connecticut Public Act 08-32 into law on April 21, effective August 1, 2008.
As a result of these experiences, safer teen driving has become his avocation.