Traffic and Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Program
Motor vehicle accidents are currently the third leading cause of death due to unintentional injury after falls and accidental drug overdose. Between 2006 and 2010, there were 1,516 Connecticut residents who died in motor vehicle crashes, including motor vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. From 2007 to 2013, motor vehicle crashes resulted in 14,012 hospital in-patient discharges, 191,984 emergency room visits and over $444 million in emergency department charges. Many of these deaths and non-fatal injuries can be prevented.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health recommends the following important steps to protect yourself, your family and community:
- Wear a seat belt on every trip;
- Make sure children ride in properly installed car seats or booster seats appropriate for their size and age. For a fitting station near you, visit http://www.ctsafekids.org/child-passenger-safety/find-fitting-station/
- Wear bicycle and motorcycle helmets;
- Avoid using electronic devices or doing other activities in the car that distract you from driving;
- Don’t drink and drive or let others drive after drinking; and
- Walk facing oncoming traffic and wear highly visible reflective clothing if walking at night
Parents can make a major difference in keeping their teenagers safe by discussing the rules of the road, creating a parent-teen safe driving contract, monitoring their teen’s driving, and learning and enforcing Connecticut’s teen driving laws, which include restrictions on two of the most risky situations for young drivers; driving at night and driving with other teen passengers.
For the summary of Connecticut’s law on Graduated Driver Licensing, please click the link: SUMMARY: CONNECTICUT GRADUATED DRIVER LICENSING LAW
Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant
The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) provides all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 2 American Indian tribes, and 8 US territories with funding to address their unique public health needs in innovative and locally defined ways. This program gives grantees the flexibility to use funds to respond rapidly to emerging health issues and to fill funding gaps in programs that deal with leading causes of death and disability.
PHHSBG funding is currently provided to local health departments to address motor vehicle injury through activities designed to increase the correct use of safety belts/child safety seats and promote pedestrian safety. Strategies utilized include: safety seat checkup events; training programs for parents, caregivers and health professionals; community awareness campaigns; and development of community coalitions to identify local problems and implement environmental or policy changes to address these problems.
Transportation Safety and Injury Prevention Partner: Connecticut Department of Transportation
Highway Safety Office Annual Plans and Reports
The Connecticut Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Office (HSO) develops and updates annual highway safety plans and reports which can be accessed here. The Office coordinates highway safety initiatives for the priority areas of impaired driving, distracted driving, speed and aggressive driving, public information and education, bicycle and pedestrian safety, teen driving, highway safety related legislation, police traffic services, Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP), occupant protection, and child passenger safety.
Strategic Highway Safety Plan Executive Committee
Connecticut has worked diligently to address [the issue of transportation-related injuries and deaths] through strong leadership and public agency support of highway safety initiatives and partnerships with not-for-profits, private businesses, and Connecticut citizens. The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Executive Committee and Steering Committee—made up of these partners—have worked to reduce needless loss of life, and each life saved moves us in the direction of our long-term vision. The safety culture of these partners and Connecticut’s road users is vital to prevent future roadway fatalities and serious injuries (Excerpt from Executive Summary, CT SHSP, 2017-2021). To view the current SHSP, click here.
Motor vehicle accidents in the US: Costly but preventable - http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/2014-10-vitalsigns.pdf
Cost of deaths from motor vehicle crashes in Connecticut- http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/pdf/fatal_crash_cost/ct_costofcrashdeaths.pdf
Adult Seat Belt Use in the US: http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/hems/injury/seatbeltuse_factsheet.pdf
Child Passenger Safety: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/2014-02-vitalsigns.pdf
For more information, please call
The Office of Injury Prevention