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Pedestrian accidents in Connecticut

Connecticut pedestrians are at appreciable risk of severe harm whenever they are in the presence of an automobile. However, national statistics indicate that pedestrian fatalities are decreasing in frequency, and the injury rate is dropping as well.

Almost 5,000 pedestrians were killed by contact with automobiles in 2001. By 2012, that number had dropped to 4,743. Over the same period, the number of injuries dropped from 78,000 to about 76,000. That number is necessarily an approximation because only a fraction of all the pedestrian injuries that occur every year are reported to a hospital or the police. Experts estimate that the national cost of automobile injuries to children younger than 15 years old amounts to $5.2 billion dollars every year. Pedestrians account for 14 percent of all automobile-related fatalities every year.

2 pedestrians struck crossing Route 7 in Connecticut

Two Burger King employees were struck by an SUV as they attempted to cross Route 7 in New Milford on Nov. 12. The incident happened around 6:30 p.m.

Authorities said the workers may have been trying to catch a bus on the other side of the street when they were hit by a Jeep Cherokee near the intersection of Route 7 and Sunny Valley Road. One victim, a 21-year-old Danbury woman, suffered critical injuries and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. The second victim, a 51-year-old woman, was treated for minor injuries and released.

Proposed new rules to combat trucker fatigue

Many Connecticut motorists may exercise extra caution when driving in close proximity to large commercial vehicles, and statistics compiled and promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration support that practice. Accident statistics from 1998 demonstrate that 98 percent of people who died in collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles were occupants of the passenger vehicles.

Furthermore, statistics reveal that fatigued commercial vehicle drivers are often the cause of this type of accident. While federal regulations limit the amount of time that truck drivers may spend behind the wheel, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration feels that the number of truck accidents on the nation's roads could be reduced if these rules were revisited. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed that drivers be required to take longer continuous breaks both between and during their shifts.

Good Samaritan killed in I-95 multi-car crash

An 18-year-old man who police say stopped to help a broken-down motorist in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Stamford was killed on Nov. 1. According to police, the man was standing behind one of the cars that had pulled over to help the stalled vehicle after he and two other motorists stopped to help the car's occupants.

The man was killed when another driver who was reportedly driving in the right lane failed to stop and hit the stalled car from behind. The impact forced one of the cars to strike the 18-year-old man. In addition to the man, four other people were injured in the four-car collision.

Improving pedestrian safety with crossing islands

Pedestrian safety measures like medians and crossing islands can significantly reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in Connecticut. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, says that pedestrian islands may lower the number of pedestrian accidents in an area by 46 percent. These safety measures are good for car drivers too, as pedestrian islands are also thought to lower the number of motor vehicle accidents by 39 percent.

A median is a marked area in the middle of two opposite lanes of traffic. Although medians can be made with markings on the pavement, they can also be raised areas variously known as pedestrian crossing islands, center islands or refuge islands. By providing a highly visible resting place at the midpoint of the road, a pedestrian island can allow people to cross a busy road much more safely.

Connecticut driver strikes 3 pedestrians, resulting in 1 death

A 33-year-old man driving down Woodward Avenue in Norwalk on Oct. 24 struck three pedestrians at around 8:30 p.m. The driver then exited his car and fled on foot, according to the police.

The accident injured two of the pedestrians, and officials transported the third to a local hospital where he died. Authorities are still investigating the crash but did arrest the driver.

Alleged drunk driver strikes 3 pedestrians, kills 1

Norwalk police officers have arrested a man whom they believe was under the influence when he struck three pedestrians in Connecticut. The alleged hit-and-run occurred on Oct. 24 around 8:30 p.m.

Authorities state that after the man struck the pedestrians, he got out of his car and ran away from the scene on foot. Two of the pedestrians were injured, and one died after he was taken to the hospital.

Sleeping Connecticut man charged with drunk driving

Police in Connecticut say that a 41-year-old man was drunk when he fell asleep in his vehicle at a Middletown fast food establishment during the early morning hours of Oct. 11. Middlesex County police say that the man was taken into custody after officers concluded that he was under the influence of alcohol.

The incident took place at the drive-thru window of a hamburger restaurant on South Main Street at approximately 1:30 a.m. According to restaurant employees, the man ordered food at the first window of the drive-thru but failed to appear at the second window to collect his order. The police were called after the employees determined that the man had fallen asleep in his vehicle.

Aggregate traffic accident data in Connecticut

According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, 104,187 motor vehicle accidents occurred in the state in 2008. Of this number, 280 fatalities occurred. Additionally, 2,362 of these injuries resulted from wrecks in which alcohol was suspected to be a contributing factor. Figures like these are compiled by the Department of Transportation each year in a aggregated report.

Typically, these reports include information based on roadways and are maintained by the state. Much of the information derives from car accident reports prepared and submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Motor vehicle accidents resulting in fatalities or injuries or causing property damage that exceeds $1,000 must be reported to the Department of Transportation. This responsibility typically falls upon the law enforcement officials who investigate the accident. They are required to file a copy of the accident report with the Department of Transportation.

Most drunk drivers in fatal collisions have no DUI record

In Connecticut, most drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and kill themselves or others behind the wheel show no prior history of DUI arrests. Advocates from groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Connecticut say that this is only an indicator that drunk drivers get away with violating DUI laws several times before being caught or causing fatal accidents.

In data supplied by the state Department of Transportation, the New Haven Register discovered that between 2010 and 2012, 298 people died in approximately 250 drunk driving accidents, but only 15 of the alcohol-impaired drivers that caused those collisions were arrested for DUI.

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