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How common are fixed object collisions?

You may think that fixed object collisions only occur in the winter after a driver hits a patch of ice. However, these incidents can occur year-round on Connecticut's roads and highways. Statistics from 2015 explain some of the factors involved in these accidents. 

Fixed object collisions can be deadly at any time of the year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Data Loss Institute, 7,627 people died after crashing their car into a fixed object. These fatalities made up 22 percent of the deaths in fatal car accidents. Men below the age of 30 accounted for most of these fatalities; the women involved in these deadly accidents in 2015 were mostly betweeen the ages of 20 and 24 or older than 70.

Alcohol is one of the primary factors in fixed object collisions. Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 made up 41 percent of these fatalties in 2015. Speed can also be a factor. Most of the fatal fixed object collisions involved people driving their vehicles at 55 mph or higher. Additionally, most of these crashes occur at night. The hours between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. saw most of the deadly accidents, with 1,336 people killed. The hours before midnight can also be dangerous for drivers; 29 percent of the fatal collisions occurred between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m.

Many kinds of fixed objects are involved in these incidents. Collisions with trees accounted for 47 percent of the fatalties, with 3,611 people killed. Guardrails, fences and traffic sign supports  made up a small proportion of the fixed objects in fatal collisions, while traffic barriers and utility poles were struck in 21 percent of these accidents.  Although you may think hitting an animal would account for many deaths, this is actually not the case. In 2015, 186 people died after colliding with an animal, and most of the deaths occurred in the fall.    


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