2017 appears on track to become the deadliest on record. Unfortunately, the death toll on Connecticut’s highways continues to spike. This time it reached a chilling number of crash fatalities. 172. And counting.
CT Post reports that nearly 200 people perished on our roads, driving the amount up four more than last year’s record-setting numbers. It’s a grand total we could eventually see since two of the year’s biggest holidays are fast approaching.
UConn’s Connecticut Crash Data Repository says 2014 used to be one of the deadliest years on record, until 2017 came along.
Around this time in 2014, 139 people died on Connecticut’s roads. Nearly 40 less than the amount we’ve seen today.
Connecticut State Police activated several signs along the highways, reminding commuters of the rising death toll. As well as a strong reminder to wear a seat belt, especially on the freeways.
Distracted driving continues to be a leading cause in recent vehicular fatalities. Commanding officer of the State Police, Colonel Alaric J. Fox, echoed the sentiment:
“Troopers have responded to countless crashes caused by distracted drivers – some of which have ended in fatalities. The task of driving must have your full, undivided attention. Connecticut State Troopers urge you to put down the cell phone and do not pick it up before you arrive safely at your destination.”
As of this week, the state’s “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” campaign goes on until the 16th. Police hope to nab as many distracted drivers as possible and, hopefully, break them of such a deadly habit. Fines range from $150 to $500.
Driving under the influence also remains a leading factor in fatal crashes, as well. Connecticut’s renewed effort to persecute offenders allowed us to rank as the 7th strictest state when it comes to enforcing DUI laws.
However, more next to be done. With roadside fatalities on the rise on a national scale, drivers must be extra cautious. In 2016; 40,200 people died in crashes.
It’s a number 2017 could potentially beat. The National Safety Council says vehicular deaths will continue to spike as long as the economy improves and oil prices tumble, which coaxes even more drivers onto the highways.
What do you think? Will 2017 mark a new upwards trend in car-related death and injuries? Or, do you think that, with a renewed push to crack down on DUI/distracted driving, the numbers will eventually go down?