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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.

National fatality statistics for passenger vehicle accidents

Fatality statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that the most deaths resulting from traffic accidents occur among passenger vehicle occupants. Passenger vehicles are cars, pickup trucks, minivans, SUVs and large passenger vans. Residents of Connecticut might be intrigued to learn that in 2012, 33,561 crash deaths were reported, and 65 percent, or 21,795 people, were occupants of passenger vehicles.

The total number of deaths among passenger vehicle occupants in 2012 was 29 percent fewer than those reported in 1975. Broken down by type of vehicle, 9 percent more fatalities were reported among SUV occupants and 18 percent more were pickup truck occupants, but 49 percent fewer fatalities were car occupants. In the same year, 27 percent of the passenger vehicle occupant deaths were under the age of 25. Among the 9 percent of all deaths that occurred to occupants in the second or third row of the passenger vehicles, 26 percent were under the age of 13.

Connecticut teen dies after hit-and-run crash

A teen bicyclist was killed on Oct. 6 after he was struck by two motor vehicles, purportedly. Authorities stated that the accident took place near the Waterbury intersection of Baldwin and Pleasant streets at approximately 8 p.m.

The bicyclist, 18, was on Baldwin Street when he was hit by a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, authorities said. The impact of the collision propelled the teenager off of the bike and onto the roadway, where a second vehicle then ran over him. Allegedly, both vehicles continued traveling after making contact with the bicyclist, and neither one stopped. Emergency personnel transported the teenager to St. Mary's Hospital. That is where he ultimately died on account of the injuries he suffered in the bicycle accident, purportedly.

2-vehicle collision injures 3

Authorities in Connecticut report that a vehicle accident in Wolcott during the morning hours of Sept. 30 left three people severely injured. Reports say that the injury crash involved two vehicles.

Police said the crash took place at about 7 a.m. on Route 322 as a motorist traveling up the hill of the two-lane roadway nearby Meriden Road suddenly veered over into the opposite lane and into the path of an approaching downhill vehicle. First responders worked to extricate the two occupants riding in the vehicle that was traveling uphill, using the Jaws of Life on the car's roof. An ambulance then took those two individuals and the driver of the other vehicle to a hospital.

Connecticut woman faces multiple charges for hit-and-run accident

Police reported that a 53-year-old driver hit a 24-year-old pedestrian in Durham on Sept. 27. According to authorities, the 8:30 p.m. accident happened near the Durham Fairgrounds.

Authorities said that the 24-year-old woman was walking south along Route 17 when she was struck by a vehicle driven by the 53-year-old woman at the Route 79 intersection. Following the pedestrian accident, the 53-year-old driver allegedly fled the scene of the incident without stopping. Reportedly, other motorists forced the woman to stop her vehicle more than a mile south of where the accident occurred.

4 softball players killed in fatal bus accident

Connecticut residents who follow college softball may have heard that a North Central Texas softball bus was hit on Sept. 26 near Davis, Oklahoma, while returning from a scrimmage. Police say that the accident happened when a semi going north on Interstate 35 crossed into the southbound lanes. Authorities say that the semi went off the road and into a ravine after hitting the bus, and it took nearly an hour to locate it.

There were 15 players on board the bus at the time of the accident. Nine people, including the coach were, treated and released while four players on the team were killed. Two other players remained in the hospital as of Sept. 27, and one of the two was in critical condition. Of the four people who were killed, three were pronounced dead at the crash scene while the fourth died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Traffic fatalities increase on U.S. highways in 2012

Connecticut motorists may be interested to learn statistics for their state followed the national pattern of traffic fatalities increasing in 2012. Some 236 people were killed on Connecticut highways in 2012, up from 221 in 2011, says a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After six years of a declining fatality rate on the nation's highways, the number of people killed rose from 32,479 in 2011 to 33,561 in 2012. Another 2.3 million people were injured in 1.6 million crashes that same year. Altogether, there were more than 5.6 million accidents reported to police in 2012; only property was damaged in the remainder of the accidents, according to a NHTSA report. The federal agency estimates that as many as 10 million more accidents are not reported to police.

Pedestrian critically injured in Connecticut

A pedestrian was critically injured after being hit by a car in Stamford on Sept. 17. The accident took place around 11:20 p.m. on the city's West Side.

According to police, the 30-year-old victim was walking with a friend along Stillwater Avenue when the pedestrian accident occurred. They both attempted to cross the street from the west side to the east side when the victim was hit by a 2007 Honda Accord driven by a 32-year-old Stamford man. The vehicle had been traveling south on Stillwell Avenue. The pedestrians were in the middle of the block at the time of impact.

Motorcycle crash in Connecticut kills 1

At around 10:10 a.m. on Sept. 14, a Connecticut motorcycle driver was killed in an accident. The other car involved in the crash was a 2013 Honda Civic driven by an 88-year-old woman. The accident occurred at the intersection of Church Hill Road and Quality Street in Trumbull.

Reports indicate that the woman was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Quality Street. Officers say that she made the turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Trumbull police officers report that there were no one else injured in the crash.

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.

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