Connecticut faces bike and foot traffic safety

Pedestrian and bicycle safety is getting attention in Connecticut with a new plan implemented by the Governor.

The Connecticut Governor recently launched a new effort to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists on area streets. East Hartford will be the location of the first changes according to WNPR.org. These changes include a reduction in the number of vehicle traffic lanes and the addition of bike lanes on select streets.

Why the changes?

The Governor's plan is a way to illustrate the need to make Connecticut a safer place to ride a bike or be on foot. According to data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 276 vehicular fatalities statewide in 2013. Of those, 36 were pedestrians and three were bicyclists.

Specific statistics show that Hartford County experienced more pedestrian and bicycle fatalities than any other county in the state.

  • Two bicyclists and 12 pedestrians died in accidents in Hartford County.
  • One bicyclist and eight pedestrians lost their lives in crashes in Fairfield County.
  • In New Haven County, seven pedestrian fatalities occurred.
  • Windham County was the location of three pedestrian deaths.
  • Two pedestrians each died in Middlesex, New London and Tolland Counties.

Litchfield County was the only county that did not experience any bicycle or pedestrian deaths in 2013.

How serious is the risk today?

Recent news stories indicate that the dangers faced by pedestrian and bicycle traffic in 2013 are still prevalent today. WTNH.com described how the life of one 17-year old boy from Bridgeport was dramatically changed after being struck while crossing a street. The driver did not stop and has not yet been located. The boy suffered life-threatening injuries and was reportedly being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

According to FoxCT.com, a couple's vehicle was stopped on the side of a road. While the husband was out of the vehicle, he was hit by another driver who had crossed over from the opposing lanes of traffic. The man died from the blow and his wife sustained injuries from the crash.

A cyclist was competing in a triathlon when hit by a vehicle. WFSB.com indicates the incident happened in East Lyme during the Niantic Bay Triathlon. The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

What should Connecticut residents do?

Certainly it is good news that the state is working to make roads safer for area residents. However, pedestrians and bicyclists will continue to be subject to dangers when sharing the roads with vehicles.

When an accident occurs, victims or family members should always contact a lawyer. The right help is important when seeking compensation in these situations.