Bridgeport is known for its parks and museums, bringing many tourists to the area each year, along with the more than 144,000 residents of the city. Car accidents will inevitably happen in a bustling city like Bridgeport, but driving carefully can help reduce the risk. However, even a careful driver can be severely injured in a car accident due to the actions of a reckless motorist.
What Do Bridgeport Car Accident Statistics Tell Us?
The University of Connecticut maintains detailed data on car accidents in Bridgeport. For a period spanning April 2020 to October 2023, they reported 19,730 car crashes. Fortunately, not all of these resulted in serious injury or death. In fact, many were fender-benders involving only minor car damage.
However, the data shows that most weeks, the city sees dozens of injury accidents and averages around one fatal crash per week. Here are some other notable statistics:
A significant number of accidents (8,941) take place at intersections in the city.
There were 405 car crashes involving pedestrians during the study period and 69 involving bicyclists.
Additionally, 214 collisions included motorcyclists, who, like pedestrians and bikers, are at higher risk of injury when hit by a car.
277 crashes involved a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge.
Another 4,853 collisions involved young drivers.
What Can We Learn From Bridgeport Car Accident Statistics?
It’s clear that everyone could benefit from exercising more care at intersections. The number of incidents in these areas is not surprising because intersections bring a large number of vehicles together, all headed in different directions. Traffic lights or stop signs are intended to prevent accidents, but they only work if drivers follow the rules of the road.
When approaching an intersection, always slow down and come to a complete stop if you have a red light or a stop sign. If the light is yellow, stop anyway—don’t try to hurry through the intersection before it changes to red. Remember to look both ways before proceeding through the intersection, even if you now have the green light—you can’t always rely on others to follow the rules because you do.
It’s also important to note that motorcycles are notoriously hard to see due to their size. Many people who otherwise obey traffic laws have pulled out in front of motorcycles, often at intersections, because they didn’t see the bike when they looked both ways. In addition to looking carefully before turning, it’s beneficial to turn down your radio and crack open the windows, as you might hear a motorbike coming even if you can’t see it.
Remember that pedestrians have the right of way inside a crosswalk. They are supposed to yield to vehicles outside of crosswalks, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of pedestrians near the road and be prepared to stop if necessary.
Young drivers also account for a large number of accidents in Connecticut. If you have an inexperienced driver in your life, try to help them out by being a good role model. Obey speed limits and other traffic laws, and never use your phone while driving. Make sure they understand the dangers of driving while intoxicated and help them plan what to do if their ride home has been drinking.
What Steps Can Pedestrians and Bicyclists Take to Stay Safe On or Near Bridgeport Roads?
Like motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists suffer from a lack of visibility. One of the best things you can do is to make yourself more visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing or adding reflective patches to your clothes. If you walk or run at night, consider investing in a headlamp or another wearable light to announce your presence.
Always stay aware of cars on the road, even if you’re traveling on a sidewalk or another area nearby. If you need to cross the road, do so at a crosswalk if one is available. If not, look carefully in both directions to ensure no cars are coming, and cross as quickly as possible.
When you cross at an intersection, watch the cars around you and try to make eye contact with each driver to ensure they see you. Always pay attention to your surroundings—don’t use the time to look at your phone or listen to music. You want to be able to see if a driver is inching forward or hear if a car is speeding around the corner.
Connecticut has specific requirements for bicycles. If you ride at night, your bike must have a white light on the front that can be seen from 500 feet away, a red reflector on the back visible from 600 feet, and reflective material on the sides that is also visible from 600 feet. Be sure to check your bike light before starting out, especially if it’s still daylight but may be dark when you return. Regularly test your brakes, which should allow you to stop within 25 feet if you’re riding at 10 MPH on dry, level pavement.
The state only requires bicyclists who are younger than 15 to wear helmets, but everyone should wear one when riding a bike. A well-fitting bike helmet (snug but not excessively tight) is your best chance at avoiding a severe head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) if you are hit by a car. Even if you’re only going for a short ride, always wear your helmet.
Bicycles are considered vehicles under Connecticut law, and in most cases, they are required to follow the same rules of the road as cars. Stop at stop signs, only cross when you have the light, and always signal before turning. Always ride as close to the right side of the road as you can in a given situation.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Bridgeport?
A car accident can be very upsetting, but staying calm and taking steps to protect yourself can help things go more smoothly.
First, look to see where your car has come to a stop. If you’re on the road and can still drive the car, pull over in the first safe place and call 911 to report the accident. However, sometimes the car is badly damaged and won’t move, and if that happens, you should put on your flashers to warn other vehicles. The last thing you need is a second collision to cause more damage!
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries and request an ambulance from the 911 operator if needed. Don’t minimize your injuries—even if they seem mild, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention. You might think you’re all right, but car accident injuries can be deceptive. Some people have little or no pain immediately after the accident due to shock, adrenaline, or the distraction of the crash itself. However, they may develop symptoms over the next few hours or days and, in some cases, find they have moderate or severe injuries.
If you notice any new pain or unusual symptoms in the days following your accident, we recommend seeing your healthcare provider. Be sure to let them know about your accident and ask if it could be related so that they can order the appropriate diagnostic tests.
While at the scene of the accident, take out your phone and capture images of all the damage to your car, as well as the other vehicle, and any debris lying on the road or ground. You should also exchange insurance and contact info with the other driver but try to avoid discussions about fault. These rarely go well, and many people inadvertently say things that might make their case more difficult. If the other driver becomes irate, starts yelling or blaming you, or seems to be determined to pick a fight, go back to your car and wait for the police there.
Once the authorities arrive, you should answer their questions honestly but keep your answers brief and to the point. You don’t need to provide any information they didn’t ask for, and you shouldn’t speculate about fault. Sometimes, people incorrectly believe they caused the accident and say as much in their statement to the police. Keep in mind that you only have your own perspective on the accident and may not know everything that happened.
The police report should become available within a week or so of the accident in most cases, and we recommend picking up a copy to review. If your accident was within the Bridgeport city limits, the police department has instructions for requesting a copy of an accident report. If you were outside the city, you’d need to contact the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident, such as the State Police or another city’s police department.
Contact an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. We’ll review the police report with you to ensure everything is accurate and determine the best way to address your damages.
Who Can Assist You With a Car Accident Claim in Bridgeport?
Bert McDowell Injury Law is always available for a free consultation if you or a loved one have questions or concerns about your car accident case. We’ll answer your questions and explain the options for recovering compensation. There is no obligation, and if we take your case, you won’t owe us anything until we win or settle it.
Attorney Bert McDowell Jr. is an experienced trial attorney who helps clients with various Bridgeport personal injury situations, including car accidents. He was recognized in 40 Under 40 Connecticut Magazine and the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40. Dedicated to community service, he serves on the board of several nonprofits and has received the 100 Men of Color Award for his community efforts.