According to NBC CT, a Danbury man was identified as the victim of a fatal hit-and-run accident in Bethel on Friday (12/9/22).

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This is just one of the many reported pedestrian deaths we've read about in 2022. This is not just a notion, there is real data to support these incidents are increasing, both nationally and locally. A new study conducted by Jerry examined data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to highlight the dangers pedestrians face on our roadways.

Pedestrian deaths are up around the country, but this is very much a Connecticut problem. The Constitution State is 7th in the U.S. for pedestrian deaths according to the study. The only states that have more pedestrian deaths than CT are:

  • Kansas
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Nebraska
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee

Only 8 states experienced a decline in pedestrian accidents. They are: Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, North Dakota, West Virginia, Maine, Hawaii and Pennsylvania.

NHTSA via Jerry
NHTSA via Jerry
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The study also found that pedestrian deaths in CT is up 115% in the last ten years.

NHTSA via Jerry
NHTSA via Jerry
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Jerry shared their study conclusion, writing:

There are likely many factors behind the dramatic rise in pedestrian deaths. We have seen a surge in aggressive driving and overall traffic fatalities since the outbreak of COVID-19, which can be at least partly blamed on mental stress resulting from the challenges of navigating the pandemic. American drivers’ passion for ever-bigger vehicles is also cited as playing a role. Sport-utility vehicles are far heavier and therefore deadlier to anyone they hit than your average passenger car. And alcohol consumption by pedestrians clearly plays a role.
Ultimately, most of America’s roads are profoundly unfriendly to pedestrians, making the factors above that much deadlier. There are far too few sidewalks and pedestrian crossings and too many high-speed, high-traffic-volume roads cutting through densely populated urban areas. As long as that's the case, being a pedestrian in the U.S. will be riskier than it should be.

Their conclusion seems to be as professional and thoughtful as you can get. I'd say this much, people are angrier, more stressed and more distracted than ever before. You add all of that up, and there are just too many people driving that should not be.

I intend to bring this up with our local leaders in our next discussion/s on our show. We have regular guests like Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito, Brookfield First Selectman Tara Carr and New Milford Mayor Pete Bass. I will be asking them if they see a rise in these incidents locally, and what they are doing to prevent these accidents.

Here was a wild scene from 2016 when a KTVU reporter was nearly struck by a car on live TV. This FOX affiliate video was shared all over the internet and TV, including Inside Edition.

Thankfully he was unscathed and later went on TV, sharing tearful thank yous to a crew member.

P.S. A startling national metric came out of this study that says nearly 1 in 5 traffic fatalities involved a person on foot.

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