Officials warn drivers about alarming number of crashes ahead of busy holiday season

Police warn of rise of serious crashes before Thanksgiving weekend
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 12:40 AM EST
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ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WFSB) - Connecticut is seeing a rise in car accidents statewide. Agencies are warning drivers to be safe on the roads, especially during this holiday weekend.

Police and fire departments are dealing with an increasing number of accidents due to distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence.

Local agencies are putting out a warning in hopes that those numbers will not go up this holiday season.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of accidents, but the severity we’re also seeing an increase in. They’re getting worse,” says Michael Garrahy, Rocky Hill’s Fire Chief.

Rocky Hill officials say they are seeing their fair share of those accidents. They say there is one area that causes trouble for drivers.

“For whatever reason it seems that this particular corridor that stretches from Wethersfield through Rocky Hill and to Cromwell just seems to be a high traffic area and that people speed up or don’t pay attention,” says Rocky Hill Mayor Lisa Marotta.

Mayor Marotta says they need to focus on enforcing driving laws, whether it’s adding more officers or increasing fines.

She’s hoping to take a second look at the accident numbers this next legislative session.

State police say Rocky Hill is not alone in the number of crashes they are seeing.

State police say they are seeing an alarming number of crashes in just 2022 alone.

“The Connecticut State Police, our agency alone responded to a little over 3,000 vehicle accidents involving injury. With that 115 of those have been fatal,” says Sgt. Christine Jeltema with state police.

These accidents involve intense investigations, which takes a toll on the wellbeing of officers who respond.

“The amount of death that our troopers are seeing on the mental health side and their wellbeing side, it kind of wears on them. Time and again, especially if it’s back-to-back,” says Jeltema.

State and local agencies are warning drivers to be extra aware this holiday season, to stay off the phone and don’t speed. If you are drinking, find a designated driver or ride share so you can avoid these accidents from happening.