In the last decade, the number of pedestrians struck and killed in vehicular accidents in Connecticut has doubled.
Experts blame the rise on a combination of factors, including larger and heavier vehicles, the pandemic effect on driving behavior (e.g., higher speeds, higher levels of emotional distress), and distracted driving.
Those that study pedestrian safety note other factors as well.
First – male pedestrians are far more likely than women to be injured or killed while walking along Connecticut roads. That statistic holds in every state except Delaware and Montana.
Population density seems to play a prominent role, although Ohio, a state with fairly dense population centers, is considered one of the top five safest for pedestrians.
Believe it or not – texting and walking is increasingly a significant safety hazard.
And then there is the perennial problem of intoxicated drivers and intoxicated walkers. A third of pedestrian deaths involve pedestrians who are legally intoxicated. Twelve percent, on average, involve drunk drivers.
What about age? Does that play a role?
At first blush – one might think that younger pedestrians are at a greater risk of injury. Surprisingly, in Connecticut, the average age of pedestrians killed while walking on roadways is 48 years old. Twenty percent of those killed are over 65.
How can we make Connecticut roads safer?
In 2021, the state enacted new pedestrian safety laws. Additionally, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and local municipalities are beginning to redesign roads with wider shoulders, more prominent crosswalks, and pedestrian-focused traffic signals. And some new roads are being designed and built with sidewalks and bike lanes to provide buffer zones for walkers and cyclists.
What’s more – increasingly new cars are being equipped with technology that helps cars sense the presence of pedestrians – and warn drivers of potential danger.
While design improvements and technology will help – walking and driving responsibly is still central to enhancing safety.
- Never walk or drive when intoxicated.
- Never text or read and drive.
- Avoid texting or surfing the web while walking.
- Always drive and walk defensively.
If you or a loved one are ever injured while walking on a Connecticut road, know that the Connecticut personal injury lawyers at RisCassi and Davis have been assisting pedestrians injured in accidents for over 65 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in an accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.