Technology does not always escape the errors that humans make. Google, Inc. released figures on the amount of accidents involving its self-driving cars over six years. These vehicles were in 11 minor crashes over the last six years, including three since September.
Connecticut holds negligent or reckless drivers financially responsible for injuries caused to victims of car accidents. However, a party who was not in the driver's seat or even the car during the crash may also be held liable for these accidents.
According to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report, the number of traffic fatalities in Connecticut rose in 2013, which did not reflect the national trend. The national figures, while dropping, are still alarming.
Connecticut law prohibits driving a vehicle a speeds greater than the legal speed limit or at a rate that could endanger the life of any passenger. Another law forbids driving a car unreasonably fast or at a speed greater than is reasonable with regard to the highway's width, the use of the road, intersections and weather conditions. Violation of these laws may impose civil liability in lawsuits for car accidents.
Fatal car accidents are always a tragedy. Yet hit-and-run accidents can be especially devastating as it can be difficult to identify the driver at fault and hold them responsible. However, police in Bridgeport recently identified a woman suspected of being behind the wheel in a deadly hit-and-run accident.
A fatigued driver takes a risk when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. This recklessness may be a mortal danger to other motorists and passengers and the driver. Connecticut holds this driver liable for car accidents through statutory negligence.
Using electronic devices and driving is risky and illegal, in many cases, in Connecticut. The state prohibits handheld devices for all drivers, hands-free and handheld cell phone use for bus drivers and novice drivers and texting for all drivers. However, the legal use of hand-free devices, except for bus drivers and new drivers, is still dangerous and distracting.
Engaging in texting while driving or driving while performing other audio-visual tasks, such as dialing a telephone, triples the risk of becoming involved in a car accident according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. A survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 94 percent of people claimed that texting while driving was unacceptable. However, a third of these drivers admitted to engaging in this behavior.
The University of Crash Data Repository, which obtains data from the state Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety, issued state accident figures. Although a small percent of car accidents in the state were fatal, the CTCDR found that drunk driving crashes are the deadliest.
Connecticut and at least 12 other states are beginning to review the potential risks of unregulated ride-share services that are summoned by passengers through a smartphone button. In this state, taxi and livery firms have filed a lawsuit against two of these services. A warning about possible insurance risks from using ride share services has also been issued by the state.