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Press Releases

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11/22/2021

AN ALARMING CRISIS: Unprecedented Number of Fatalities Reported on Connecticut Roads

Traffic Fatalities Up 16% from 2020; On Track to Reach Record Levels by End of Year

 

NEWINGTON, CT – The Connecticut Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety is urging the public to take extra caution when they hit the roads this holiday season.  According to the most recent data, traffic-related fatalities in Connecticut are up nearly 16 percent from a year ago.

 

As of November 12, there have been 290 traffic related deaths in Connecticut, up from 257 in 2020, and 216 in 2019.

 

“If you think it seems more dangerous out on Connecticut’s highways and interstates lately, you’re right,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. “It is a real crisis. It’s happening here and it’s happening across the country. We are seeing an unprecedented increase in fatalities.”

 

On a national level, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, up 18.4 percent over 2020. That’s the largest number of projected fatalities in that time period since 2006.

 

The recent rise in traffic deaths is likely due to a variety of reasons, starting with the increase in speeding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

According to the NHTSA, during the pandemic, driving patterns and behaviors in the United States changed significantly. Speeds increased drastically and they haven’t fully come back down as more people returned to work and to the state’s roadways. That, combined with the stress of the pandemic, has resulted in an increase in aggressive driving.

 

All of these factors contribute to traffic deaths that are currently on track to reach record levels by the end of the year.

 

“During the winter months and Holiday season, we typically see an increase in crashes and fatalities - mostly due to impaired driving, distractions, and hazardous weather conditions,” added Giulietti. “Combined with the speed and aggressive driving patterns since the start of the pandemic, we are pleading with Connecticut drivers to be more vigilant than ever. We need to do everything we can to stop this trend.”

 

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