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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

Need for increased trucking industry regulation

Connecticut residents may be interested to learn of the spotty state of governmental regulations on the trucking industry despite four straight years of increases in fatal truck-involved accidents. Approximately 3,964 people were killed in 2013 alone.

The National Transportation Safety Board called on 2015's Congress to pay attention to the statistics and implement more than 100 recommendations made by the agency. Among the actions called for, the agency is asking for Congress to impose tighter restrictions on such things as driver fatigue, an area which was weakened by 2014's regulations.

Whiplash may not be preventable

A driver that suffers a whiplash injury in Connecticut may endure immense hardship as a result. Though the occurrence of whiplash injuries may be mitigated to a certain degree by wearing proper restraints while driving, it may actually not be possible to prevent them entirely. As such, whiplash continues to be one of the most common forms of injury for motorists.

Treatment for whiplash injuries often requires some form of medical intervention. Though doctors often prescribe exercise programs and encourage patients to stay active, this can be difficult to perform in cases where the victim has suffered diminished mobility from other injuries. It may be necessary to treat the injury with direct physical therapy, such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound.

Woman Connecticut accident that kills 1

According to local authorities, a woman caused a fatal collision on Dec. 4 in Bridgeport after slamming her BMW into a Subaru. The incident occurred after the woman who was a state corrections officer for 16 years left her home early that morning on her way to work and detoured to St. Vincent's Medical Center instead. She told the police that she decided to seek treatment for anxiety about her wedding due to relationship issues with her fiance.

The fatal accident occurred on Boston Avenue after she struck the 51-year-old driver of the Subaru two times, forcing the victim's car to collide with a tree. The force of impact killed the driver and injured her 11-year-old son. Police found the BMW that had damage to the front end in her driveway. The 46-year-old who allegedly caused the accident was charged with second-degree manslaughter, risk of injury to a minor and criminal evading responsibility.

Pedestrian killed after getting off bus

A woman was hit by a car and killed as she crossed a street in Connecticut. The police report indicates that the accident happened at the corner of Anderson Hill Road and King Street in Greenwich.

At 6:50 a.m. on Jan. 6, a 51-year-old woman disembarked from a Westchester County Bee-Line bus and attempted to cross King Street to the west side. A northbound vehicle reportedly failed to see her in time and struck her, inflicting severe injuries.

Pedestrian accident trends

When a pedestrian accident occurs in Connecticut, the consequences for the victims can be severe. Understanding some of the patterns involved in pedestrian accidents, such as the times these incidents most often occur and which ages are likely to be affected, may help to reduce their overall occurrence.

Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that at least 32 percent of pedestrian fatalities take place between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. These hours accounted for a significant percentage of such incidents on both weekdays and weekends. In addition, NHTSA data suggests that men are more likely to be the victims of such accidents than women. The male pedestrian fatality rate in 2012 was 2.13 per 100,000 people while the female pedestrian fatality rate was 0.91. At least 69 percent of pedestrians killed that year were male as well.

Is post-traumatic stress disorder possible after a car accident?

Residents in Connecticut who have been involved in a car accident might wonder if the feelings they are experiencing after the incident could be considered post-traumatic stress disorder. While it is common for people involved in accidents to experience many reactions that range from shock to anger, these feelings usually begin to subside as time passes. However, if these feelings become more intense with time and begin to get in the way of the person's day-to-day life, it might be a sign that the person is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are over six million people involved in auto accidents each year, and most will suffer emotions such as guilt, fear, worry, uneasiness, anger and even trouble believing the accident took place. While these feelings can be overwhelming, they will eventually fade. However, some people begin to feel even stronger emotions that actually change the way the person acts and thinks. These can include developing problems driving or even riding in a car as well as having nightmares or problems falling asleep. Being irritable, constantly replaying the memories of the accident and feeling disconnected from people and events are also issues that can occur.

Connecticut crash involves 5 cars and injures state trooper

On Dec. 27 on the northbound side of Interstate 91 in Hartford, a state trooper was making a routine traffic stop in the right side breakdown lane. A 31-year-old driver from Enfield was traveling in the center lane and trying to make an evasive move to avoid police activity when a 35-year-old Bridgeport woman driving a Nissan Altima sideswiped his driver's side door. Traffic had slowed down ahead of her and she allegedly swerved to avoid a rear-end collision, according to state police.

After hitting his door, she allegedly jerked her steering wheel to the left then too far to the right, causing her to crash into a Honda traveling in the right-hand lane. The impact caused the Honda, which was driven by a 25-year-old man from Agawam, Massachusetts, to spin out. He was then T-boned by a Chevrolet Cobalt, according to police. The Nissan kept sliding, traversing three traffic lanes and striking the trooper's cruiser.

How drugs could jeopardize Connecticut drivers

Motorists who operate vehicles after consuming drugs pose a distinct risk on the roads of Connecticut and other states. Alcohol and other psychoactive drugs impact the way people's brains operate. Such changes in cognitive function may contribute to further shifts in perception, with most scientific evidence suggesting that some motorists can become notably impaired. In 2013, millions of people nationwide admitted to using various drugs while driving.

Research released by the National Institutes of Health indicates that drugged driving causes accidents. The NIH also admits that the numbers are difficult to quantify; the statistics it provided seemed to confirm the need for additional data. The agency says that THC, the active compound in cannabis products and marijuana, was found in the blood of around 4 to 14 percent of motorists who perished in accidents, but the years these statistics corresponded to was unclear. Opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines and other prescription drugs accounted for a notable percentage of incidents in a 2003 Maryland study, but data for other states and prescription drug derivatives were absent.

Preventing impaired driving accidents

A variety of studies show how great the impact of impaired driving is on the nation's economy and on individual drivers in Connecticut and around the country. Alcohol-related crashes cost almost $59 billion annually and result in almost 30 deaths every day. Drunk driving also goes largely unnoticed and uncontrolled. While almost 1.4 million people were arrested for drunk driving in 2010, 112 million adults self-reported driving while impaired at least once that year.

Since arresting and controlling impaired drivers proves less than reliable, the focus is on preventing impaired driving in the first place. Laws in Connecticut and throughout the country help to control drunk and impaired driving in several ways. The first approach is through increased awareness of the problem and its consequences. Since younger drivers are most at risk, making them fully aware of the seriousness of the issue and its possible long term consequences on their lives and ability to drive is important. Taking the matter seriously by revoking licenses for DWI convictions and requiring mandatory substance abuse testing and counseling is the next step. Many young drivers do not take drunk driving seriously, but if the legal consequences are steep, they will hopefully be deterred.

Statistics for large truck accidents

As Connecticut residents may know, large trucks, defined as vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, are involved in numerous accidents. In Connecticut, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the total number of fatal truck crashes in 2012 was 336.

Trucks account for four out of every 100 registered vehicles and are involved in eight of every 100 fatal accidents. In 2012, more truckers and occupants of other vehicles were killed and injured in crashes involving trucks than 2011. The total number of pedestrians injured increased, while the number killed in truck-related accidents decreased. Statistics comparing both the number of registered trucks and the number of fatal and non-fatal accidents between 2003 and 2012 reveal that the number of large trucks that were registered increased by roughly three million. The number of trucks involved in fatal accidents decreased.

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