Connecticut pedestrians are in close proximity to moving motor vehicles on a daily basis. Whether one is walking on a sidewalk, getting into a parked car on the street or crossing the street, pedestrians put a lot of trust in drivers. These individuals hope motorists are paying attention, following the laws, and putting pedestrian safety first. Tragically, though, this is not always the case.
For several years, pedestrian and bike advocacy group in Connecticut have sought new laws to increase financial penalties for reckless drivers who cause pedestrian accidents and collide with cyclists. Earlier this month, this measure advanced through the General Assembly when the Transportation Committee approved a bill raising penalties who do not exercise due care in avoiding a crash with a pedestrian or cyclist.
The Governor's Highway Safety Association issued a report earlier this month estimating that the number of pedestrian accident fatalities in the United States grew by 10 percent from the first half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. This is the largest one-year increase in fatal pedestrian accidents since the Fatality Analysis Reporting System was established in 1975. Reports for earlier years varied from a 10.5 percent annual drop to an 8.1 percent increase for the country.
During the last month alone, the Bridgeport Police Department investigated three deadly pedestrian accidents. To fight this problem, Bridgeport officials announced a traffic safety blitz which will incorporate speed traps to catch reckless and distracted drivers, as well as a crackdown on jaywalking.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that Connecticut saw 47 pedestrian deaths in pedestrian accidents in 2014. However, the Auto Insurance Center also reviewed NHTSA data and issued a report identifying the states that were the most dangerous for pedestrians in 2014. America as a whole saw 5,000 pedestrian deaths that year. Intoxication was blamed as being involved in a disproportionate number of deaths in these crashes.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported 47 deaths in pedestrian accidents in Connecticut in 2014. However, negligence is not the only cause of these accidents, which may also be blamed on reckless and even criminal behavior.
Holiday cheer cannot erase the risk of accidents to pedestrians in Connecticut. In fact, the revelry and travel associated with this seasons can pose grater danger. Alcohol always poses risks to pedestrians, and the holiday seasons sees more than its share of drinking. This season also sees drivers drinking more than usual because of parties and reunions among friends and families.
Children of a person who is killed or injured by the negligence or recklessness of another person may file a personal injury or wrongful death action in Connecticut. Children can seek economic damages in these types of cases, such as loss of support for living expenses and education.
Wealthier neighborhoods may have better schools and lower crime. However, a 2014 report from "Governing" magazine indicates that income may also play a role in pedestrian safety. The magazine, which addresses issues relating to state and local government administration, issued a report finding that poorer areas suffer almost twice the number of pedestrian accidents than more affluent communities.
Driver negligence is not the sole cause of pedestrian accidents. Poorly designed or defective infrastructure may also constitute a factor in these accidents.