According to the American Automotive Association (AAA), Connecticut has experienced an increasing number of distracted drivers, that have resulted in numerous pedestrian accidents. As a result of this growing issue, the Connecticut Transportation Committee has decided to take a strong initiative to keep residents safe.
Motorists are becoming more distracted on the road due to various factors. AAA has stated that the following are the top distractions drivers face that have led to accidents:
- Use of cellphones;
- Built-in infotainment system;
- Navigating apps;
- Eating and drinking
- Other passengers in the car.
Not only is the rise in pedestrian fatalities caused by distracted drivers, AAA reports that speeding is also a factor.
A recent article written in Real Hartford, features a study observing pedestrian accidents. It found that in 2020 there were 52 pedestrian deaths from vehicular incidents. A recent survey done by AAA concluded that:
- 45% of drivers admitted that they read a text or email while behind the wheel;
- 60% of all crashes have a younger driver involved who was distracted while driving;
- 49% of drivers said they use a hand-held phone while on the road.
- Drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 1-5 seconds to read or text while driving.
The Transportation Committee’s co-chair, Roland Lemar, is planning for an “aggressive” safety agenda that is set to be debated this year. Lemar’s agenda includes such laws that would give Connecticut municipalities the ability to set speed laws within their borders and governing sidewalks. Another goal Lemar has with his plan is to change state law governing crosswalks.
Initially, Lamar planned this safety agenda to legislate in 2020, however the plan was placed on hold due to the pandemic. It is now being revisited in 2021.
It is apparent that Connecticut is due for much safer laws, and it is up to the legislatures to enforce them. With the accessibility of our smartphones and advance technology in your cars, it is easy to be distracted. But, as always, remember to keep your eyes on the road, stay alert and avoid all distractions. Stay safe, Connecticut.