Robin Glynn – General Assignment Reporter –
Reported accidents on campus are rare, but they do occur, with incidents occurring as recently as this semester.
“There are approximately 50 accidents a year,” said University Police Chief Joseph Dooley.
Dooley said the police department generally gets reports of unsafe backing and evading.
According to the Wellness Center, motor vehicle accidents happen too often and many times can be avoided.
Many accidents are caused due to speeding, aggressive driving, fatigue and sleepiness, cell phone use, and alcohol or other drugs.
Some tips that could prevent automobile accidents include never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, keeping the car in good working condition and allowing for plenty of following distance. Also slowing down if the weather is bad, stopping completely at stop signs, use special care at intersections and construction zones, and not passing on two-lane roads.
According to the resources4accidents.com, the flow of people from New England to New York, and Boston caused Connecticut to have 291 automobile accidents in 2004.
Dangerous roads lead to 196 roadway departure fatalities, which makes up 67.4 percent of all drivers killed in Connecticut; which is 7.2 percent above the national average.
Economic cost of vehicle accidents in Connecticut was $3.59 billion. There were 98 speeding related fatalities in Connecticut; 38 percent which were alcohol-related, 57 were fatal motorcycle crashes, and 27 pedestrian fatalities. More people were killed in passenger cars than light trucks, which were 133 people compared to 60.
Student Amy Berish’s car was involved in a hit and run on Mar. 6.
“My car was hit while I was in class,” said Berish, library science major.
She said her car was parked in a handicap space near North Campus. She thinks he accident happened between 7:30 and 8 p.m.
Berish said when she returned to North Campus, she saw police near her car but didn’t think anything of it until someone in North Campus said something.
“We don’t know who did it,” said Berish. “I am probably going to have to pay for it.”
“I feel like no one looks,” Berish said about people backing out of spaces.
Berish thinks the car that hit hers is probably an SUV or a bigger vehicle.
“They could have left a note,” said Berish.
She said she has not taken her car for an estimate yet and will have to pick up the police report. She will also have her car looked at when she returns home because it would be easier.
“It is going to be up to me to get it fixed,” said Berish.
Another area of concern is the crosswalks on Farnham Avenue.
“The toughest time is at dusk,” said Dooley about Farnham Avenue’s pedestrians and cars.
Dooley said a problem with that area is the inattentiveness on both walkers and drivers. In October, two students were struck by a vehicle on the crosswalk on Farnham Ave.
“By law, drivers have to yield to people in crosswalks,” said Dooley.
University Police has an initiative called University Pedestrian Safety Initiative, which the objective is to educate the university on the importance of using clearly marked and designated crosswalks, while crossing the streets.
Dooley said in 2008, lighting was added to Pine Rock Avenue to make the area brighter and safer. He said he is working on making the Farnham Avenue safer for pedestrians and drivers.