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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

The perils of distracted driving

According to a guide from the Federal Communications Commission, cellphones can present great risks to the public when people use them while driving. According to various studies and statistics, there is an unequivocal relationship between distracted driving and traffic accidents that cause injuries and even fatalities. On account of these documented risks, lawmakers in states such as Connecticut have enacted bans on certain types of cellphone use while driving.

Research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute indicates that the risk of a crash is 23 times higher for drivers who actively text than for undistracted drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving caused 18 percent of the country's car accidents in 2010. Altogether, crashes attributed to distracted driving killed 3,092 people and injured 416,000 people that year.

Connecticut crossing guard hit by car

An accident involving a driver in Hartford around 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 12 resulted in a school crossing guard being sent to a local hospital for treatment, according to a Hartford Police representative. Her condition was not disclosed in a news report updated on the evening following the accident.

The 24-year-old female driver stated that the glare from the sun caused her inability to see the crossing guard. The driver remained at the scene after the accident and received misdemeaor summons for operating an unregistered motor vehicle, no license and failure to stop for a school crossing guard, among other charges.

Accident on Connecticut highway injures state trooper

A vehicle struck an on-duty trooper's cruiser in Middletown on September 5, and two people were injured in the collision. The Connecticut State Police trooper did not suffer serious injuries. The driver of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries and faced potential charges pending the accident investigation.

The two-vehicle accident occurred on Route 9 around 10:30 a.m. as a 42-year-old North Haven man traveled north on the highway. The trooper was parked in the left lane near the Exit 10 off-ramp that was closed due to construction, and his cruiser's emergency lights were on according to police. The North Haven driver reportedly drove into the closed left lane and struck with the trooper's vehicle. Police said that both vehicles were heavily damaged.

Woman killed in pedestrian accident

A woman in Connecticut was killed in a pedestrian accident that took place on July 21. The fatal accident happened in Stamford while the victim was attempting to cross the road at a crosswalk near Hoyt Street and Summer Street. As a result of the accident, the female driver who struck the pedestrian was charged for negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, obstructed view and failure to grant right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

The Stamford Police Department concluded an investigation into the pedestrian accident on Sept. 5. The same day, the driver involved in the accident turned herself in to the police department. Authorities determined in the investigation that the woman had struck the pedestrian while she was attempting to complete a left turn onto Hoyt Street from southbound Summer Street.

Many fatal auto accidents attributable to driver negligence

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 320 fatalities resulted from auto accidents in Connecticut in 2010. 220 residents of the state died in car crashes the following year.

The NHTSA's data reveals that many of those crashes could have been avoided had drivers exercised more care both before and while driving. In 2011, intoxicated drivers caused 42 percent of fatal auto accidents while 33 percent of deaths in motor-vehicle accidents were attributable to speeding drivers in that same year. The data also pointed toward distracted driving, which includes actions such as talking on one's cellphone or texting while driving, as having factored into significant number of traffic deaths in 2011. Driving while fatigued was also noted as a major cause of fatal car crashes in the NHTSA report.

I-95 crash in construction zone leaves 1 dead

An Aug. 27 motor vehicle accident that took place in a construction zone on Interstate 95 has resulted in the death of one person and serious injuries for another. The accident occurred around 5:15 a.m. in New Haven near the Long Wharf Drive exit. A portion of I-95 south was closed, and traffic was redirected onto Long Wharf Drive at exit 46 and then back onto the interstate at the nearby ramp.

A 53-year-old woman and a 41-year-old woman, both from New Haven, were traveling in a compact car behind a tractor-trailer heading south on I-95 with a second tractor-trailer following behind the car. As the vehicles entered the construction zone, the first tractor-trailer and the car slowed down. The second tractor-trailer struck the car in the rear and pushed it into the first tractor-trailer, crushing the car.

1 dead in Connecticut auto-bicycle accident

A bicyclist was reportedly killed after being struck by a pickup truck in New Milford. At the time of the report, police had not filed charges against the 22-year-old man who was driving the truck. The man remained at the scene of the crash following the accident.

The accident happened around 8:20 a.m. on Aug. 23. According to police, the pickup truck struck the cyclist while attempting to pull into a driveway. The cyclist was taken to New Milford Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Motorcyclist dies in 3-car accident

Connecticut State Police say that a woman riding a motorcycle died in a three-vehicle accident on Interstate 84 on Aug. 14. The crash happened shortly after 3:30 p.m. in the eastbound lanes around exit 44 as the motorcycle traveled through West Hartford. Traffic in the area was congested for about three hours as a result of the fatal accident.

Troopers report that traffic had come to a sudden halt when a Harley Davidson that was occupied by two people slammed into the rear of a Toyota Corolla. The motorcycle fell to the ground, landing on its right side, and the Toyota Corolla that was following behind ran into a 43-year-old woman from New Hampshire. The woman and 46-year-old man who was driving the motorcycle were hospitalized at St. Francis in Hartford. The woman died about one hour after the crash. However, police expect the driver to survive.

Acting accordingly after a crash

Residents in Connecticut may benefit from learning more about the recommended course of action to take when a car accident occurs. Knowing what to do beforehand may be beneficial since car crashes often result in emotional stress and serious injuries. Some motorists benefit from keeping a pamphlet on-hand that outlines what do in the event of a collision. Most importantly, as many people already know, it's always advisable to remain at the scene of the accident until the appropriate authorities arrive.

People who leave the scene of an accident involving injury, death or property damage may face criminal charges. Uninjured people who are involved in the accident should check to see if anyone is injured before assessing any property or vehicular damage. Anytime there's been a death, injury or property damage, the police should be called to the scene. People who suffer back or neck pain or who have been rendered unconscious should not be moved until emergency response personnel arrive.

Pedestrian victim in Connecticut hit-and-run identified by police

A 32-year-old male pedestrian, walking near the front entrance of Canton High School, was hit by a car driven by a 26-year-old man on the night of Aug. 12. Canton police arrived at the scene at about 9:16 p.m., in the Collinsville section of town. They'd received an emergency call indicating that a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian was found on the ground when police arrived. The driver of the vehicle was not at the scene of the accident.

The hit-and-run victim was taken to Hartford Hospital by a Life Star medical helicopter to be treated for serious injuries. But, a later report upgraded his condition to non-life-threatening injuries.

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