Risk Rises for Accidents, Injuries in the Spring, Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner, LLPLater sunsets, longer days, and brighter evenings add to the appeal of spring, but there are also heightened risks that come with the season.

The most dramatic is tied to the annual switch to Daylight Saving Time (DST) each March, when the risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes increases by 6 percent in the week after the time change according to scientific studies.

Sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment are cited as factors, as well as mornings being darker and evenings brighter, which alters illumination conditions during peak travel times.

Even though we adjust to these conditions, many other aspects of the season tend to increase the risk of accidents and injuries in other ways:

  • Nice weather brings people out and increases the volume of vehicles on roads and highways
  • Cyclists and people walking are also on roadways and roadsides in greater numbers
  • Barbecues, picnics, and other gatherings are on the rise, creating the potential for intoxicated drivers
  • There are more construction zones on state and local roads – and the glare from the brighter sunlight can make it difficult to see signals
  • Children are more likely to play outside after school in warmer weather

The risk of motor vehicle crashes – including those involving cyclists or pedestrians – is especially acute in Connecticut this year, according to a WTNH report based on new data from the state Department of Transportation.

“We are on track to have one of the worst … if not the worst years on Connecticut roadways when it comes to roadway fatalities,” Josh Morgan of the DOT told WTNH. With 70 fatalities already in 2024, this year’s total could surpass the 360 fatalities in 2022, called one of the worst years since the 1980s.

The DOT cited the unseasonably warm weather encouraging the emergence of cyclists and motorcycles as a factor, as well as impaired, aggressive, or distracted driving.

Spring Rise in Injuries Goes Beyond Motor Vehicle Crashes

With the warm weather and longer days comes the reemergence of many types of activities that create the potential for injuries:

  • Children return to playgrounds at school and in public parks, where injuries are an inherent risk but can also be caused by faulty or poorly maintained equipment, or improper supervision.
  • People are out walking dogs on sidewalks and on trails in the woods, often without leashes against the rules of the municipality or nature preserve, increasing the risk of dog bites or attacks.
  • Connecticut law requires drivers to allow at least three feet of separation when overtaking and passing cyclists, but motorists don’t always comply, and they aren’t the only risk for cyclists. Other hazards that may indicate negligence include faulty roads and even a closed gate on a nature trail that’s usually open, for example.
  • Winter conditions – even in mild winters – can damage roads and sidewalks in ways that create risk of injury for pedestrians and potentially create liability for the owner of the faulty infrastructure. (Read about Partner Alan Rome’s $770,357.65 jury verdict against the town of West Hartford in a lawsuit filed against the Town of West Hartford for failing to maintain its sidewalks in safe condition.)
Contact Our Injury Lawyers to Learn if You Have a Claim

If you have been injured in a car or motorcycle crash, in the workplace, while riding a bike, in a fall while walking, or in any other circumstances, contact our Personal Injury team for a free consultation to learn if you should pursue a claim.

Call us at 860-232-3000 or email injury law Partners Alan Rome at arome@rckklaw.com , Chris Sica at csica@rckklaw.com, or Attorney Joe Serrantino at jserrantino@rckklaw.com.

About RCKK Law

Rome, Clifford Katz & Koerner is a Hartford-based law firm whose attorneys collectively have more than 100 years of experience in a wide variety of legal areas. Whether you are dealing with a motor vehicle accident, a Workers’ Compensation injury, a Family Law matter, or a business concern, our skilled lawyers will aggressively advocate on your behalf. We represent individuals and businesses in Connecticut and throughout the New England states.