Connecticut Bicycle Accident Statistics

Connecticut Bicycle Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports three (3) pedalcyclist deaths in Connecticut during 2015. This number represented 1.1 percent of the total traffic-related fatalities that year of 266.

Connecticut Bicycle Helmet Laws

Connecticut requires that all riders under the age of 16 years wear a bicycle helmet. Adults and teenagers 16 years of age or older are not required by law to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in the state.

What is Connecticut Doing to Promote Safe Bicycling Within the State?

The Connecticut Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board was created in 2009 and tasked with several objectives including:

  • Examine the need for bicycle and pedestrian transportation within the state;
  • Promote facilities and programs targeted for bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • Provide advice to state agencies regarding programs, facilities, and policies for pedestrians and bicyclists; and,
  • File annual reports and recommendations.

The current 2016 Annual Report contains several goals and recommendations for improving pedestrian and bicycle safety. The goals stated in the report are:

  • Connect to the economy and daily needs of riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities;
  • Integrate pedestrians and riders into public transit systems;
  • Coordinate pedestrian and bicycle improvements with capital programs and projects across multiple statewide agencies; and,
  • Improve and continue the Safe Routes to School program.

Recommendations to Meet These Goals

To accomplish these goals, the Board filed numerous recommendations regarding pedestrians and bicyclists with the state including:

  • The Connecticut DOT should take the lead in providing improvements to state roads.
  • Set aside Highway Safety Improvement Program funds for projects.
  • Develop designs for bike routes, especially on Route 1.
  • Hire an Engineering Consultant to complete the update for the 2002 Connecticut Highway Design Manual.
  • Short-term bicycle racks and long-term storage facilities at major train and bus stations.
  • Conduct road safety audits to ensure safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Begin a coordinated vehicle, pedestrian, and bike safety program including education on safe road use.
  • Connect gaps in bicycle and pedestrian network.
  • CTDOT needs to hire a Bike & Pedestrian Coordinator, designate Bike & Pedestrian Coordinators at CTDOT's District Offices.
  • Review crosswalk legislation for safety concerns.
  • Place speed enforcement cameras in school zones during school hours.
  • CTDOT needs to designate funding for Safe Routes to School through regional funding.
  • Develop curriculum for safety training in elementary schools.

In October 2015, the CTDOT began the process to update the 2009 plan for pedestrian and bicycle transportation. The goal is to create walkable communities and bicyclist friendly environments. Updates to the plan can be found on the CTDOT’s Bike Ped Plan Update website.

In the most recent update (Winter 2017 Newsletter), four action strategies stood out after the Project Team sought input from stakeholder groups. The four strategies were:

  • Target improvements to areas based on safety;
  • Improve connections to public transit;
  • Increase education and awareness programs for bicyclists and drivers; and,
  • Target network improvements based on gaps.

The state continues to work on improving bicycle safety throughout the state to keep the number of bicycle fatalities and injuries as low as possible.

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