Teams at the state Department of Transportation and UConn’s Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center cross-reference data from the police departments with data from death certificates and toxicology reports to get an even fuller picture of the accident.
Experts are still pulling together all these pieces for 2021 crashes, so they don’t completely understand the underlying causes for the increase in fatal crashes since the start of the pandemic.
“We don’t have a really perfect picture as to what’s causing it,” said Eucalitto. “We have some beliefs and assumptions.”
One thing is for sure: People are driving faster.
“During the lockdown, as traffic dropped, people had more opportunities to go faster because there weren’t more cars on the roadway. And what we’re also seeing is that those speeds haven’t decreased now that traffic has picked back up,” said Eric Jackson, director of the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center, which maintains the state’s crash data repository.