Lawmakers are looking at 2021 as a year to make roads safer for pedestrians and bicycle riders after looking back at a deadly year. According to NBC Connecticut, at least 52 pedestrians and six cyclists died in Connecticut after getting hit by cars in 2021.
In an effort to reduce these accidents, Connecticut lawmaker Rep. Roland Lemar, who co-chairs the Transportation Committee, has proposed two pieces of legislation:
- A law to give municipalities the ability to set their own speed limits
- A law that eliminates the need for people on foot to step into the road to have the right-of-way in a crosswalk
Other proposals include the authorization of speed enforcement cameras, which are used to photograph license plates and send tickets to drivers' homes, and increased fines for distracted drivers.
What are the top causes of bike, pedestrian accidents?
The legislative proposals are directly tied to some of the common causes of bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Connecticut:
- Speeding: A motorist who exceeds the speed limit has less time to react if a pedestrian is crossing a road or a cyclist is sharing the road.
- Distracted driving: Too often, motorists are texting or otherwise using their phones instead of paying attention to the road ahead. A distracted driver might swerve into a cyclist sharing the road or not see a pedestrian using a crosswalk.
- Drunk driving: An intoxicated driver will have less time to react and stop for a pedestrian. A motorist impaired by alcohol loses the judgment needed to make safe decisions behind the wheel. The driver may lose control of the vehicle and strike a cyclist or pedestrian sharing the road.
- Failing to stop or yield: A driver must stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, but some don't and cause accidents leading to serious injury or worse. Drivers sometimes fail to stop or yield for cyclists who are lawfully sharing the road.
What to do if you're injured in an accident
If you're a pedestrian or cyclist involved in an accident, you should take the following steps (if you are able to do so):
- Call 911 to ask for the police and an ambulance to respond. If you don't have a phone, ask a bystander or the driver to call for help
- Take photographs. If you are able to do so without further injuring yourself, use your cellphone to take photographs of the accident scene and the car that hit you.
- Get medical attention and follow up with doctor appointments. Even if you think you might be fine after the accident, let a medical professional examine you. Some injuries don't become apparent until hours or even days later.
- Don't speak to the insurance company. The driver's insurance company likely will call to get a statement from you. You don't need to speak with them, and you actually could end up hurting your chances to get fully compensated by talking with an insurance adjuster.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can investigate and put experience to work to maximize your compensation.
Call the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli if you've been in an accident
The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli has decades of experience helping clients pursue compensation after pedestrian and bicycle accidents. We can deal with the insurance companies while you focus on your recovery. If you lost a loved one, we would explore all legal options, including possibly filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact us today for a free consultation.