In 2015, there were 266 traffic fatalities reported in the state of Connecticut, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nearly all of these accidents involved various acts of negligence, ranging from driving while impaired (103 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities were reported in CT in 2016) to speeding (73 speeding-related fatalities) and more.
Sadly, nearly all traffic accidents are a direct result of wrongful or irresponsible actions, typically those of a driver. The following considers the top five reasons that car accidents occur, as based on data from sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the NHTSA.
Speeding and/or Driving Too Fast for Conditions
Speeding, or driving too fast for conditions (which might include a situation in which a driver was going the legal speed limit, but conditions – such as rain or snow – warranted traveling at a slower, safer speed) is a top cause of car accidents. Per statistics stated above, speed was a factor in more than 27 percent of traffic fatalities reported in the state of Connecticut in a single year. The WHO reports that speeding increases both the likelihood of a crash occurring, and the severity of the crash as well. To be sure, an increase in speed of just under 1 mph, increases crash risk by three percent.
Fatigued driving is another huge cause of crashes in Connecticut, and a crash causation study conducted by the NHTSA found that among non-performance errors that lead to crashes, sleep – or rather, a lack thereof, leading to the driver falling asleep – was to blame in seven percent of crashes. According to DrowsyDriving.org., about 100,000 crashes across the United States are the result of fatigued driving every year. Fatigued driving is estimated to cause 1,550 death, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 in monetary losses every year.
With the ubiquity of the smartphone, distracted driving – particularly the use of a cellphone while driving – has become a huge problem on Connecticut’s roadways. In the year 2015, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,477 people, and injured more than 390,000 across the United States. The NHTSA estimates that during daylight hours in the United States, there are approximately 660,000 drivers using cellphones while operating their vehicles.
Of course, cellphones are not the only types of distractions that drivers face. Children, passengers, pets, eating or drinking, changing the radio, looking at a map or GPS system, and gazing out the window are all sources of distractions, too, and may be dangerous.
Driving Under the Influence
As demonstrated by statistics in the first paragraph, drinking and driving results in life-taking accidents. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that every two minutes in the United States, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash, and that an average of 27 people die every day as a result of a drunk driving crash. According to BackgroundChecks.org, a company that aggregates public record data, Connecticut ranks 39th on the list of States with the worst DUI problems.
Driving under the influence usually refers to alcohol, but any impairing substances, including both illegal and prescription drugs, can be dangerous and decrease a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Aggressive or Careless Driving
Even when a driver is alert and sober, they may engage in dangerous behaviors that increase the risk of an accident. Aggressive driving, which includes committing any number of traffic offenses that endanger others, might include erratic lane changing, tailgating, speeding, passing where prohibited, driving in the shoulder lane, running a red light, cutting off another driver, or any other erratic and careless behavior. Over a four-year period, aggressive driving played a role in 56 percent of fatal crashes, according to data published by the Insurance Information Institute.
Contact The APEX Law Firm After a Connecticut Car Accident
Car accidents are preventable, and would not occur if drivers would operate their vehicles more responsibly. At The APEX Law Firm, we recognize that if you have been involved in a crash that was not your fault, you may have a lot of questions about your rights and what you should do next. Our experienced Connecticut auto accident lawyers will help you to gather evidence that is necessary to your case, prove fault, and negotiate for a settlement amount that compensates you for your losses. Contact The APEX Law Firm today at (860) 900-0900 in Hartford County for your free consultation – our skilled personal injury attorneys are ready to help you!