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Connecticut's Wrong Way Crash Problem

Posted by James Aspell | Mar 06, 2024 | 0 Comments

Wrong Way Crashes Rise Sharply in CT

Ambulance damaged by car crash

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut has witnessed a concerning uptick in fatal car accidents, notably those involving wrong-way collisions. Despite expectations of safer roads due to decreased travel, data paints a grim picture. For instance, within the initial months of 2022 alone, Connecticut matched its previous year's total for fatalities resulting from wrong-way crashes, as highlighted by a CT Insider report. A particularly tragic weekend in February 2022 saw two such accidents claim six lives, underscoring a disturbing trend that had already resulted in 12 deadly wrong-way incidents by November, leading to 22 fatalities.

Wrong-way accidents, defined by vehicles colliding head-on after one travels in the opposite direction on a roadway, have become a critical issue in Connecticut. The state recorded a peak in these incidents in 2015 with 615 cases, and despite efforts, the numbers remain high, with 497 and 460 incidents reported in 2021 and 2022, respectively. A significant factor in these accidents is substance use; over 75% of drivers involved in fatal wrong-way collisions on state roads had alcohol or drug levels significantly over the legal limits, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Why do these devastating wrong-way crashes happen, and how can they be prevented? Even with medians and barriers, drivers can still end up on the wrong side due to various reasons, including missing critical signage or misinterpreting road layouts. Such accidents, though constituting a small fraction of total car crashes, are disproportionately deadly, accounting for up to 27% of all traffic fatalities. Survivors often face severe, life-altering injuries, highlighting the urgent need for preventive measures.

Factors contributing to wrong-way driving range from distracted or fatigued driving to the challenges faced by elderly or inexperienced drivers. Road design flaws and poor conditions, along with increasing reliance on GPS navigation, also play roles in these accidents. To combat this, strategies like improving road signage, enhancing driver awareness, and investing in technology like Connecticut's new wrong-way driver detection system are critical.

If you or someone you love has been affected by a wrong-way crash in Connecticut, seeking experienced legal representation is crucial. The attorneys at James F. Aspell, P.C.  specialize in car accident cases, offering expert advice and support to victims and their families. Contact us to learn how we can help you navigate the aftermath of a wrong-way collision and pursue the compensation you deserve.


About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


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