In a typical year the state of Connecticut sees roughly between 40 and 50 pedestrian deaths due to accidents with motor vehicles. In 2021, that number was 56. This year, with still a little over a month to go, the state has already seen 60 pedestrian accidents with December poised to be one of the deadliest months of the year. This rise in pedestrian deaths is of great concern to safety officials throughout the state who are warning that this year could be the deadliest year for Connecticut pedestrian accidents in 20 years.
So, what is accounting for the increase? While there is no direct research that has been released by any group studying the rise in pedestrian deaths this year, there are some experts who have weighed in with opinions ranging from the fact that there are more SUVs on the road which can cause more significant injury or death to a pedestrian to the fact that more people are attending holiday parties more regularly this year and that could be leading to more impaired driving and also pedestrian impairment which could be problematic as well. There is also the factor of the shorter days due to the end of Daylight Savings Time which makes it more difficult for pedestrians to be seen while out and about.
There are some steps that both drivers or motorized vehicles and pedestrians can take to do their part to avoid increasing this number over the next month. For motorists they can follow these steps to prevent an accident.
1.) Don’t drive tired. It can be easy to get behind the wheel after a long day at the office and feel drowsy before you even get out of your office’s parking lot, but it is important to not get behind the wheel if you are feeling drowsy. If you do feel tired, spend a few minutes with your eyes closed to get refreshed before you head out.
2.) Avoid distractions at all costs. There is nothing more dangerous than to be driving while also being distracted by something else that you are doing. Cell phones often get the most attention with distracted driving, but eating behind the wheel, playing around with your car’s infotainment system or even talking to a passenger in the vehicle are all ways you can get distracted and create an unsafe driving experience.
3.) Stay alert. It can be difficult to be alert at all times, especially at night when you are rushing to get somewhere, but being aware of your surroundings and the potential hazards that exist is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and pedestrians safe.
For pedestrians it can be important to follow these steps to keep yourself safe.
1.) Never walk while intoxicated. If you are under the influence of a drug or alcohol you should not go out for a walk or run. Stay home or at your location until you have sobered up. Being a pedestrian who has had too much to drink or is under the influence of a drug could be a recipe for getting injured or killed.
2.) Wear appropriate clothing. When you’re out, especially at dusk or dawn you will want to wear clothing that can easily be seen by a passing vehicle. If you do not have clothing that is bright enough to be seen at night, you should get reflective tape for your clothes so traffic can see you easily.
3.) Always use posted pedestrian walkways. If you are crossing the street, always cross at a crosswalk and if possible where there are street lights. If you are walking on a street that has sidewalks, always use the sidewalks.
If pedestrians and drivers work together we can all protect each other from the devastation of a Connecticut pedestrian accident. This trend of many more pedestrian fatalities than a normal year will continue if we don’t all take steps to figure out how to keep each other safe. Following the steps above will be a good way to protecting each other from the dangers of sharing the road.
Whether you’re a driver in an incident or have been injured due to an accident you may need to speak with someone who has experience with a situation like yours. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review what you have been through and work with you to protect your long-term interests.