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State on track to have a record number of traffic fatalities this year: CT DOT

There have been at least 290 traffic related deaths in Connecticut

NEWINGTON, Conn. — The state Department of Transportation is warning drivers as the holiday weekend approaches to drive safely as the state approaches having a record number of traffic deaths this year. 

DOT officials said traffic-related fatalities in Connecticut are up nearly 16% from a year agoAs of November 12, there have been 290 traffic-related deaths in Connecticut, up from 257 in 2020, and 216 in 2019. 

“If you think it seems more dangerous out on Connecticut’s highways and interstates lately, you’re right,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. “It is a real crisis. It’s happening here and it’s happening across the country. We are seeing an unprecedented increase in fatalities.”

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The problem is not only in Connecticut but nationwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said an estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, up 18.4% over 2020. That’s the largest number of projected fatalities in that time period since 2006.

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According to NHTSA, during the pandemic, driving patterns and behaviors in the United States changed significantly. Speeds increased drastically and they haven’t fully come back down as more and more people returned to work and to the state’s roadways. That, combined with the stress of the pandemic, has resulted in an increase in aggressive driving. 

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Beginning on Wednesday, November 24 at 12:00 a.m. and running through Sunday, Nov. 28 at 11:59 p.m., Connecticut State Police will supplement its normal routine patrol personnel with additional Troopers throughout the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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