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CT Steps Up Efforts to Protect Pedestrians Amid Surge in Unsafe Driving During Pandemic

boy runs across the road in front of the car

A pedestrian accident lawyer in Fairfield County provides the details you should know

For children, Halloween is a season of scares and treats. For many parents, one of their biggest fears on Halloween is a reckless motorist causing a pedestrian accident and turning a festive holiday into a tragedy.

With Halloween approaching, many children in Fairfield County are thinking about collecting their hauls of tasty goodies, but they probably aren't thinking about their safety on dark streets.

That’s part of the reason the state has launched Watch for Me CT, a program that emphasizes pedestrian safety. Among the safety tips are:

  • Always use sidewalks when they are available. When they are not, walk facing traffic and as far from the street as possible.
  • Likewise, always use crosswalks when they are available. When they are not, always yield to traffic.
  • Obey pedestrian traffic signals.
  • Make yourself visible by crossing streets in well-lit areas. Also, carry a flashlight and wear reflective gear. Stay clear of obstacles, such as parked vehicles and hedges, when crossing.
  • Do not cross in the middle of a block or diagonally.
  • Check both lanes of traffic before crossing streets.
  • Watch for vehicles that are making turns or backing up.
  • Avoid distractions, such as using cellphones and other electronic devices
  • Never assume a driver can see you.

'Nobody should have to worry about dying while walking'

Adding a sense of urgency this Halloween season is that the number of pedestrians struck and killed by drivers continued a decade-long increase during the pandemic, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Even though roads were less congested as people stayed home, many motorists developed bad driving habits.

“The spike in pedestrian fatalities in recent years is unacceptable,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. “Nobody should have to worry about dying while walking. Vehicles are safer than ever for occupants thanks to design changes and new safety features, but the same can’t be said for people on foot.”

The numbers offer grim evidence of the tragic trend. An estimated 6,721 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads in 2020, a 4.8% rise from the previous year despite a steep decline in traffic. And the National Highway Safety Administration recorded a 10.5% increase for the first quarter of 2021.

To combat fatalities, GHSA is promoting a multi-prong approach. It includes engineering improvements, equitable enforcement of traffic safety laws, automated enforcement, pedestrian safety assessments, and road safety audits.

Legal help is available in Connecticut

A carefree Halloween evening can turn tragic in an instant. A driver chatting on a cellphone might not notice young trick-or-treaters on the side of the road. Someone could carelessly back out of a driveway without checking for youngsters. Or someone who is speeding might not have enough time to stop for children who are crossing the street.

If you or a loved one got hit by a car, you have recourse through the civil justice system. You may be entitled to compensation for your short- and long-term costs, but getting full value for your claim isn't always easy as it should be because insurance companies often care more about protecting their bottom line than making sure accident victims have been compensated appropriately for their losses.

At the Vishno Law Firm, attorney Jeremy Vishno has been serving clients in Stamford, Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Fairfield County for 25 years. Our law firm has the knowledge, experience, and resources to aggressively advocate for your best interests and fight for every dollar you deserve. See what an experienced Connecticut pedestrian accident attorney can do for you and contact us today for a free consultation.

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