Connecticut car crashes have been steadily rising over the past decade. In 2011, there were just 78,000 crashes throughout the entire state. By 2019, that number jumped to about 93,000 crashes. Put another way, each licensed driver in Connecticut has a roughly 1-in-25 chance of being in a car crash this year.
Preventing these accidents and saving lives starts by identifying the causes of these accidents. With that in mind, here are the top five causes of Connecticut car crashes and strategies to help you avoid a potentially serious wreck.
Following Too Closely
Following too closely is a major contributing factor in more than 30% of all Connecticut car crashes. This type of accident is often the symptom of another issue, like distracted driving or aggressive driving.
The best way to prevent these crashes is to remember the “three-second rule.” While behind another vehicle, pick a point that they pass (a line on the road, a sign, etc.), then start counting Mississippi’s. If you pass the marked point and haven’t reached three Mississippi, you may need to slow down and give the other driver some space.
Failure to Grant Right of Way
Failure to grant the right of way causes roughly 1-in-8 Connecticut car crashes. The particular circumstances behind these crashes vary widely. They may include a failure to yield to pedestrians, risky unprotected left turns, issues merging on the highway, and turning right against a stoplight, among others.
No matter the root cause, this is typically an issue of careless driving and drivers not paying attention to their surroundings. The best way to prevent this type of crash is by utilizing defensive driving techniques. In other words, take your time. Come to a complete stop before attempting to turn at an intersection or stoplight. Anticipate that other drivers will always make the wrong decision. Remember, it’s okay to wait; there’s no harm in waiting for another vehicle to pass before making your turn.
Driver Lost Control
Losing control of the vehicle accounts for nearly as many accidents as failure to grant the right of way. These crashes are sometimes due to poor conditions (such as icy roads) but are more often caused by negligent vehicle maintenance or speeding.
Tire blowouts and failed brakes are two of the most significant contributing factors to losing control of a vehicle. For that reason, it’s crucial that you routinely rotate your tires about every 3,000 miles and replace your brakes about every 50,000 miles. This will keep your vehicle in good condition and reduce the likelihood of a maintenance-related accident.
Of all the crashes and fatal accidents in Connecticut, about 1-in-10 are directly caused by speeding. Sadly, most drivers don’t realize how dangerous it is to go 5-10 miles over the speed limit. Not only is it more difficult to maintain control of a speeding vehicle, but the force of impact in a speeding crash is always greater than a wreck at the speed limit, which means serious injuries or even fatalities are much more likely.
Often, speeding is a consequence of either aggressive driving or distracted driving. If you realize that you’re going significantly faster than the speed limit, take a moment to refocus your attention to the road and coast down to a safe speed.
Driving Under the Influence
Intoxicated driving makes up a smaller percentage of all crashes in Connecticut, about 3%, but is the single greatest cause of fatal car crashes in the state. Many drivers don’t realize how even a single drink can impact their driving ability. One study found that a BAC as low as 0.01% impacted drivers’ reaction times and made them more likely to be involved in a crash.
Preventing crashes caused by intoxicated drivers is a two-prong issue. First, all drivers must avoid driving while using alcohol, recreational drugs, and new medications. Second, we should all do our part to report reckless drivers swerving across the road before they get into a crash.
How A Connecticut Car Accident Attorney Can Help After a Crash
Even the safest drivers get into a crash from time to time. If you’ve been seriously injured in a wreck, an attorney can help. Your legal team can handle all the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiating that comes with a car crash so you can focus on feeling better while your attorney earns the settlement you need to move forward.
If you or someone you love suffered severe injures in a car accident, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Connecticut car accident attorney from Carter Mario Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to call (203) 876-2711 or send us an email.