Dangerous driving behaviors are on the rise in the state and around the country.
A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that in the last year, more people are speeding, running red lights, and driving under the influence of alcohol and cannabis.
The most alarming increase is the trend of drivers getting behind the wheel while alcohol-impaired. Data shows that 24% more drivers engaged in this behavior from 2020 to 2021.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Administration reported 42,915 deaths from crashes, up from 38,824 in 2020.
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Fatal crashes have also increased in Connecticut and continue to grow.
According to the Connecticut Crash Data Repository, there were 305 traffic deaths in 2021.
As of Nov. 30, 2022, traffic fatalities across the state have already surpassed 2021 totals at 344 deaths.
"At the end of November, we've seen 344 deaths due to traffic crashes in Connecticut. That's not just 344 as a number that's 344 people, that's 344 empty places in somebody's home. So, I just want to ask, who would anybody be willing to lose? What family member would they be willing to sacrifice,” said Tracy Nobel, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford.
AAA recommends these driving safety tips to ensure you are protecting yourself and others on the road.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Stow your smartphone away, turn it to airplane mode, or activate call/text blocking features like Apple’s Do Not Disturb.
- Slow down. Drivers tend to overestimate the time saved by speeding. Speed kills and isn’t worth the cost.
- Stay alert. Stop driving if you become sleepy because you can fall asleep anytime. Fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment, and vision.
- Drive sober. If you consume marijuana or alcohol, then don’t drive. If you are taking potentially impairing prescription medications, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist how best to stay safe AND healthy behind the wheel.
- Buckle your seat belt for every ride. It does not matter where in the vehicle you are seated. A properly worn seatbelt is the most effective way to survive a traffic crash.