Paul Januszewski, Fire Chief
North Haven, CT 06473
For Immediate Release
Monday, July 17, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
North Haven Fire Responds to Multiple Motor Vehicle Accidents over the Weekend, Urges Residents to Practice Safe Driving
NORTH HAVEN — With more people on the roads and highways during the summer months, Chief Paul Januszewski and the North Haven Fire Department would like to remind drivers to practice safe driving after a spate of crashes over the weekend.
This past weekend, the North Haven Fire Department responded to 10 motor vehicle crashes involving injuries, four of which were rollovers. Many factors were responsible including speeding and impaired driving. The most serious crashes included:
- Friday, July 14, at 12:03 a.m., North Haven Fire responded to a rollover in the area of 753 Middletown Ave. for a rollover with a car into a tree. Two children were removed from the vehicle by passersby and the driver was removed from the vehicle by New Haven firefighters. All three occupants were transported to Yale New Haven Hospital.
- Friday, July 14, at 10:59 p.m., North Haven Fire responded to a rollover on Mount Carmel Avenue. The vehicle was found on its roof and the occupant was removed from the vehicle by a witness. The occupant was then transported to Yale New Haven Hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
- Friday, July 14, at 11:27 p.m., North Haven Fire responded to a one car rollover on I-91 South in the area of Exit 9. The occupants exited the vehicle themselves, with one patient transported to Yale New Haven Hospital.
- Sunday, July 16, at 9:16 a.m., North Haven Fire responded to a rollover in the area of 700 Middletown Ave. for a rollover with a car into a pole. The vehicle was found on its side and wires were down as a result. The sole occupant exited the car himself and was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
Some of the most-traveled roadways in Connecticut cut through North Haven, including I-91, U.S. Route 5 and Connecticut Route 15, and the North Haven is highly equipped for motor vehicle crashes. Nonetheless, 10 serious motor vehicle crashes is out of the ordinary.
While the crashes remain under investigation, speed, alcohol, and other factors are suspected in several of the incidents.
“Motor vehicle crashes increase in the summer, mostly due to more people on the road, but there are many instances in which they can be avoided. We are urging drivers to not drive while impaired or distracted, and make sure they are obeying all basic traffic laws,” Chief Januszewski said. “We are here when you need us, but together we hope to raise awareness of safe driving practices and reduce the number of crashes on the roadways.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), motor vehicle accidents increase over the summer due to more people traveling and spending time outdoors walking, biking, or otherwise.
To prevent accidents and fatalities, Chief Januszewski recommends that drivers follow several safety tips outlined by the Connecticut DMV:
- Maintain your vehicle – Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations go a long way toward preventing breakdowns. If your vehicle has been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it should be in good condition to travel. If not, schedule a preventive maintenance checkup.
- Drive when you are focused – Driving when distracted, emotionally upset, or on certain prescription medications can cause impairments. Distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from driving. The most obvious forms of distraction are cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, and using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices.
- Do not drive under the influence – Alcohol and drugs can impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory which are critical for safe and responsible driving. Deaths caused by impaired driving are preventable. Impaired driving not only puts the driver at risk but it threatens the lives of passengers and all others who share the road. Illegal drugs, as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications, can be just as deadly on the road as alcohol.
- Obey traffic laws – Most importantly, buckle up. Seat belts and car seats must be used at all times. Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. Obey the posted speed limit at all times. Speeding decreases reaction time and increases the severity of an accident.
Fatalities are on the rise in the state. There were 301 traffic deaths in Connecticut last year, up from 273 in 2015 and 245 in 2014.