Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious and long-lasting harm to the victims of these collisions. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists may suffer serious injuries, permanent disabilities and significant other damages, from lost wages to property damage, as a result of the actions of negligent or distracted drivers. In addition, structural racism and discrimination in Connecticut and across the country may be reflected in traffic accident statistics.
Racial disparities in traffic death rates
According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, traffic death rates for Native Americans and Alaskan natives were over 2.5 times that of the overall population. There were 145.6 traffic deaths per 100,000 people among these communities, overwhelming the numbers associated with all other populations.
Black residents had the second-highest rate of traffic deaths at 68.5 deaths per 100,000 people. This was an 18% higher rate than that of the overall population. Those statistics are underlined by another report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found that Black road users’ deaths shot up 23% in the one year between 2019 and 2020.
Car accidents can cause devastating harm to anyone injured by a negligent driver. However, these studies indicate the additional harms that can be caused by poor infrastructure, a lack of investment in safe streets and slow emergency response times in communities of color.
Cyclists and pedestrians are also at increased risk
These reports also indicated that bicyclists and pedestrians shared the same risks as drivers. Once again, Native American and Alaskan Native bicyclists and pedestrians were far more likely than all others to die in the case of a car accident with Black cyclists and pedestrians second most likely to lose their lives.
The effects of a motor vehicle accident can be significant for individuals and entire communities as ongoing health and financial problems stem from a crash. Even while systemic issues remain to be addressed, victims of an accident may take action to pursue compensation for their losses caused by another driver’s negligence.