Crashes down, deaths up on roads ahead of Independence Day weekend

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(WTNH) — There will likely be a lot of cars on the road this Independence Day Weekend compared to this time last year. The COVID-19 pandemic kept us all inside, but now drivers are getting back out there.

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Driving a car may not be quite like riding a bike. Post-pandemic, it seems that some drivers are rusty and careless. According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle deaths were up in 2020 despite less traffic.

Same thing in Connecticut. According to the UConn Crash Data Repository, there were 83,000 crashes in the state last year compared to the average of 110,00. But there were 308 fatalities, the most since 2006.

News 8 spoke with Dr. Michael Leslie, chief of Orthopedic Trauma for the Yale School of Medicine.

“We’re seeing just such high speeds and impaired drivers and multiple vehicle collisions that, unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of people not even making it to the hospital. Or, if they do make it to the hospital, they’re making it there with very morbid injuries…I think probably the number one thing is just to avoid drinking and driving. The amount of alcohol use and driving is just…it really is unbelievable how it just continues to go up on really almost a daily basis.”

RELATED: CT police taking steps to keep impaired drivers off the roads now that pot is legal in the state

Another thing, Dr. Leslie and his colleagues are seeing a tremendous increase in unrestrained drivers and passengers. Please wear your seat belts.

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