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Traffic fatalities soar 45 percent in Connecticut in 2016

A recent report says that traffic fatalities have surged 45 percent in Connecticut so far in 2016.

Traffic fatalities in Connecticut are surging, with the National Safety Council estimating a 45 percent increase in fatalities in the state during the first half of 2016, according to FOX 61 News. While fatal motor vehicle accidents have been on the upswing throughout the country, the increase in Connecticut is particularly alarming. That increase has been driven by a number of factors, including low gas prices, speeding, and, perhaps most importantly, distracted driving.

Traffic deaths in Connecticut

The National Safety Council says that during the first half of 2016 there were 138 fatal road incidents in Connecticut. That figure is a 45 percent jump from the 95 people who were killed on the road in Connecticut during the same period last year and a 16 percent increase from the 119 fatal road accidents that the state saw in 2014.

Those increases are well above the national average. Throughout the United States, 19,100 people died in traffic accidents during the first six months of 2016, which was a nine-percent jump from the first half of 2015. The figures also indicate that 2016 will be the second year in a row to see traffic deaths increase nationally.

Distracted driving laws

Lower gas prices are commonly noted as being a big reason for the increase in traffic deaths. Gas prices have continued to stay well below 2015 levels, which means that more people are driving more often and for longer periods of time. That increase in overall traffic leads to an increase in overall accidents.

However, driver error is also increasing, with speeding and distracted driving being among the most commonly cited causes of accidents. As the Fairfield Sun points out, the increase in traffic fatalities has led one Connecticut lawmaker to try to increase awareness about the state's distracted driving laws. It is worth reminding motorists that both texting and driving and using a handheld electronic device while driving are illegal in Connecticut. The fine for distracted driving ranges from $150 to $500 depending on whether it is a first or repeat offense, along with two points. Penalties are doubled in construction zones and fines can also lead to an increase in insurance premiums.

Personal injury law

As motor vehicle accidents continue to increase in Connecticut, it is important for those who have been hurt in an accident to get whatever help they need as soon as possible. A crash can cause physical, emotional, and financial pain. While pursuing compensation after an accident will not undo the pain and trauma caused by that accident, it can help alleviate some of the financial burden. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Miller, Rosnick, Damico & Delucia can help accident victims understand what claims they may be able to pursue and whether compensation can help make their recovery process easier.