(WTNH) – We are on pace for the deadliest year on Connecticut roadways in recent years, according to the Department of Transportation. Wrong-way accidents are just one reason why.

According to state police, at least four people have been killed outside their disabled cars on state highways in a span of six weeks. All were hit by another car.

State police say the problem is twofold for the person or people who get out of the disabled car and those driving by.

“We would prefer people stay safe in those cars because we know that upon impact, the airbags and seat belts will keep them safe,” said State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema.

Josh Morgan, a spokesperson for the DOT agrees.

“The safest place for them to be is in their vehicle with their seat belt on, with their hazard lights on to make themselves more visible,” he said.

Unless there is a fire or some other reason that you must exit the car, you are advised to stay inside.

“If there’s smoke, if there’s a fire, that’s when someone should exit the vehicle. If possible, stand on the other side of the guardrail if it’s available on the side of the road,” Jeltema said.

In addition to the four who lost their lives, two others were seriously injured during the same time frame. Early in the pandemic, there were fewer cars on the road.

Morgan said our highways became drag strips and those behaviors are continuing today. Morgan and Jeltema say all drivers should have safety kits with flares and flashlights.