HARTFORD, Conn. — There is an alarming crisis on our roads with an unprecedented number of fatalities reported this year. Traffic-related fatalities in Connecticut are up nearly 16% from this time last year. As of November 12, there have been 290 traffic related deaths in Connecticut. This is up from 257 in 2020 and 216 in 2019. At this pace, we are on track to reach record levels by the end of the year.
This is a real crisis – it is happening here in Connecticut, and it is happening across the country. On a national level, an estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes the first half of 2021, up 18.4% since last year. This is the largest number of projected fatalities in the same timeframe since 2006.
This recent rise in traffic deaths is likely due to a variety of reasons – starting with the increase in speeding during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, driving patterns and behaviors changed significantly. With less people on the roads, speeds increased drastically. And they haven’t come down since people have begun to return to work and to the state’s roadways.
Stress from the pandemic is also believed to be the source of more aggressive driving, as well. This holiday season, and as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we are strongly urging drivers to take extra caution. During this time of year, we typically see an increase in crashes and fatalities – mostly due to impaired driving, distractions and hazardous weather conditions. This, combined with the speed and aggressive driving patterns since the start of the pandemic, we are pleading with Connecticut drivers to be more vigilant than ever.
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This edition of Live. Work. Play. is sponsored by The CT DOT.