Common Causes of CT Car Accidents (& How to Avoid Them)

May 24, 2021

By several measures, Connecticut drivers are among the safest in the nation. Nonetheless, every year more than 200 of our state’s motor vehicle occupants die in crashes, and thousands more suffer serious injury. With these life and death consequences, it’s vital to learn how these accidents happen. Armed with that knowledge, you can keep yourself safe and minimize your car insurance premiums.

Know the Multiple Dangers of Alcohol Consumption

Nearly two out of three fatal Connecticut road accidents involve a driver with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit. Decades of research have established that alcohol impairs your reaction time and judgment. More recently, Spain’s University of Granada discovered that drivers with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit suffer impaired night vision. The study noted that alcohol-impaired drivers see blurry halos around bright lights, further compounding the hazards of nighttime driving.

Connecticut’s penalties for all drivers under the influence of alcohol are severe, with under-21 drivers held to more stringent standards. The way forward is clear: If you are going to consume alcohol, arrange for transportation beforehand. With that commitment in place, it’s worthwhile to examine another cause of impaired driving.

Understand the Consequences of Fatigue

Unfortunately, many drivers who would never dream of driving drunk are all too willing to drive drowsy. A 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that fatigue played a role in one out of every 40 fatal crashes. A 1997 study on workplace accidents found that going 20 hours without sleep is comparable to having a blood alcohol level of 0.08%, Connecticut’s standard for drunk driving. To drive safely on our state’s roads, resist the societal pressure to power through fatigue.

Learn How to Deal With Tailgaters

While estimates vary widely, tailgating – following the vehicle ahead too closely – leads to numerous fatal crashes every year. Safely spacing your car to the automobile ahead is a no-brainer, but how should you handle a driver clinging to your car’s bumper? Changing lanes is the short answer, but the correct technique is essential.

  1. When a safe lane change opportunity appears, flash your turn signal.
  2. Pause for three audible clicks.
  3. If the following driver is still holding station, make a smooth lane change.

That three-click pause is vital. Annoyed by a tailgater, many drivers lurch into an adjacent lane to rid themselves of the automotive pest. If the impatient trailing driver simultaneously makes the same move, a tail-end collision becomes likely. Use your mirrors, keep your cool and avoid becoming a tailgater’s victim.

In reviewing the ways of reducing road accidents, common sense and consideration for other motorists form the foundation.  Leading by that example is the path to safety for you, your passengers, and your fellow motorists.

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