Last year, 2020, was the deadliest year for Connecticut pedestrian accidents in recent memory. These types of accidents are on the rise not only here in Connecticut, but around the country and there are some disturbing trends that are at the root cause of it all. With less traffic on the roads last year due to COVID travel restrictions and lockdown you may have thought that these numbers would have decreased, they did not, the question is why not.
First it is important to see where Connecticut stacked up among other New England states in this difficult statistic. While Connecticut was one of the New England states that saw a rise in this type of accident, it certainly was not at the top of the list. Vermont saw an enormous rise in pedestrian deaths with these types of accidents growing by 167%. Rhode Island saw the second sharpest increase in pedestrian accidents at an increase of 125% followed by a distant third in New Hampshire which increased by 60%. By comparison Connecticut’s increase was 23%.
These percentages, of course, don’t tell the whole story because Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire all had a very small amount of pedestrian deaths to begin with 8 in Vermont, 18 in Rhode Island and 16 in New Hampshire. Compare that to Connecticut which saw 65 deaths last year and you can see that the problem is extreme in our state.
No matter what states are increasing the fastest there is an overall concern about the speed at which these types of accidents and deaths are on the rise. So, why is this happening? According to AAA Northeast there are a number of reasons for this steep increase, but an increase of SUV presence on our roads is one contributing factor. SUVs come with two main problems when it comes to pedestrian accidents, the first is that there are far more blind spots when driving an SUV then when driving a car and therefore more chances to miss a pedestrian, especially a child, in the street. The second is the design of the car with higher bumpers and front ends often lead to a pedestrian getting struck higher on their body leading to head or torso injuries that can be devastating.
While each individual New Haven pedestrian accident is different it is important for us to know what the contributing factors to all of these accidents, injuries, and deaths are so that we can learn to avoid the behaviors or adapt to the changing population of vehicles on the road. Working with car manufacturers, state regulators, and pedestrians can lead to better outcomes for all.
If you or a loved one were injured while out for a walk, you may need to speak with an attorney. An experienced attorney can help protect your interests in your interactions with the insurance companies. Contact our office today.