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Drunk driving deaths down, impaired driving up in Connecticut

The state of Connecticut got some good news recently regarding the number of deaths on the state roadways. According to figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of drunk driving deaths fell during 2014. Unfortunately, this good news has been blunted somewhat by an increase in another type of dangerous driving in the state.

According to the same NHTSA statistics, Connecticut had one of the highest rates for traffic fatalities associated with impaired driving in 2014. Out of the 248 traffic-related deaths last year, 97 of them or 39 percent, involved drivers who were alcohol impaired. This percentage was the fifth highest in the country and was only lower than North Dakota, Massachusetts, Texas and Delaware.

The total number of vehicle deaths in Connecticut fell to 248 in 2014. This was in line with the rest of the country which also saw a general decrease in the number of vehicle deaths. The state's chief medical examiner also reported that there was an overall drop in the number of drivers killed in 2014. That number fell to 175.

But of those drivers who died in fatal car accidents and whose blood was also tested for alcohol, 43 percent of them tested positive. This indicated that alcohol remained an important aspect in the state's automobile deaths. The state's chief medical examiner also felt that this rate could even be higher if not for the fact that testing for levels of alcohol during an autopsy may not accurately indicate the level of intoxication at the time of the accident, since many individuals survived the initial accident before succumbing to their injuries.

While the news of fewer total deaths on the road is encouraging, it's still clear that impaired driving remains a critical issue on the state's roads. However, any Connecticut resident who has faced the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another driver may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to find out if any legal avenues should be explored.

Source: courant.com, "Drunken-driving fatalities decline, but state ranks high in impaired drivers", Jan. 18, 2015

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