In 2021, we saw fewer seatbelts, faster driving, and people paying less attention to other cars on the road as well as other hazards like road construction or pedestrians. In many cases, Connecticut drivers were caught off guard: They had the feeling that they were more prepared to sit in the driver’s seat once again than they actually were.
Factors leading to more traffic fatalities
The bottom line was that in 2021 people were driving more miles than they had in the previous year. But it wasn’t only a matter of the number of miles driven that led to the higher fatality rate in motor vehicle accidents. It was also the unfamiliar territory that many drivers were traveling in as well as the general attitude toward safety and the rules of the road.
For whatever reason, people were emboldened to drive more recklessly than they had in previous years. This included driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, not wearing seatbelts, and driving too fast.
The high number of fatalities in car crashes also comes down to the design of the roadways themselves. In many cases, roads were designed to get people from point A to point B as quickly as possible – but not necessarily as safely as possible.
The numbers that came out for 2021’s traffic fatalities were anything but encouraging. However, there is still hope for the future as the Transportation Department continues its efforts with a renewed sense of urgency.
The measures that the department is taking include a major focus on building up a better infrastructure, which has sparked a reduction of speed limits on a state and local level. Under this new infrastructure law, there will be more lanes dedicated specifically for bikes and buses, improved lighting for areas with crosswalks, and increased adoption of speed cameras to discourage people from going over the speed limit.
All of these measures are great – if they work. But these solutions will still take a matter of years before they are able to be fully implemented. And although there is an attempt to push these serious issues onto the state and local governments, it’s not always possible for these systemic problems to be dealt with at that level.