Accidents Don’t Happen

You know all those accidents you’ve been reading — and commenting — about?

According to the Westport Police Department, there are fewer now than there used to be.

In a press release sent to local media — but not “06880” — deputy chief Dale Call said:  “In recent weeks numerous comments have been posted on several local news blogs regarding the seeming increase in motor vehicle accidents on Town of Westport roads.”

Over the past decade, however, motor vehicle accidents have decreased 22 percent.  Vehicles involving injuries are down a whopping 52 percent.

Responding to comments on “06880” and other blogs that cops seem to turn a blind eye to speeding, cell phone use and other contributing factors, Call said that the number of cars stopped, and ticketed or warned, has increased by 173 percent.  Each year, he said, the numbers grow.

Blog reports, Call continued, contribute to the misperception that we’re more accident-prone than we used to be.

But, he added, it’s all good.

“We do pay attention to all the blogs and read the comments,” the deputy chief said.  “We take a lot out of what we read. Perception counts for a lot.”

Or, as Groucho Marx said:  “Are you going to believe me, or what you see with your own eyes?”

Accidents like this one last week happen less frequently than a decade ago, statistics show. (Photo by Dave Matlow)

15 responses to “Accidents Don’t Happen

  1. I do respect and honor what Dale Call just said. However, this is not just about motor vehicle accidents. This is about dangerous driving…..the step before the accident. Speeding, talking on cell phone, disregarding stop signs and speed limits unfortunately signifies a certain disrespect for others, and a sense of entitlement. It is, also, putting life at risk.

  2. This is also about what people used to refer to as ‘ambulance chasers’. Do miscellaneous people really have the right to photograph others’ accidents; And even if they do have ‘the right’ to, should they be doing so, should this blog & others post those photos. Obviously, I don’t think so. If someone – other than the police or those involved in accident – tried to photo me, my car license plate I wouldn’t hesitate to legally & socially express my disdain.

    • And your legal reason would be…?

    • McGee, Travis

      You are driving on public roads. Therefore, you are subject to public scrutiny. It is hardly an invasion of your privacy if you are involved in an accident. You might not like it but such is life. Ride a bike.

  3. It may be that there are fewer accidents overall, like fender benders and such, but it certainly does seem that there are a greater number of SERIOUS accidents. I’d be surprised if there’s any statistical evidence disputing that.

    • DWI fatalities were quite frequent when I went to HS in the late 70’s. Fortunately, that level of carnage is no longer with us.

      • Indeed, when they dropped the drinking age to 18, fatalities skyrocketed everywhere. That is one reason they raised it back to 21.

      • Cars are built much better now than in they were in the 70’s.

        Fatality rates from automobile accidents have dropped dramaticaly.

        Time to lower the Drinking Age back to 18 where it should be!

        • Princeton '82

          Won’t happen. Feds threatened to cut funds to states who didn’t raise the age. And if you haven’t noticed, not too many 18 year olds on Ways & Means Committee.

          • Sign up for SSS at 18, vote at 18, but no beer (legally) at 18. Says a lot about those making the rules.

  4. The Dude Abides

    It is nice to see that there are positive effects of our comments here and that the police department is listening. As noted below with the McKelvey article, this blog has incredible and widespread notriety and strength to affect others. Keep up the good work, Professor!!!!!!!!

  5. I wonder if maybe fewer minor accidents are being reported. After all, if the insurance company doesn’t find out, the rates won’t go up…

  6. We weren’t require to wear seat belts back then

  7. Wendy Crowther

    I save my own life (and/or car) on a regular basis by ignoring the fact that a traffic signal changing from red to green means “go.” If I’m the first car sitting at that light when it turns green, I look in both directions before actually “going.” It’s almost inevitable that a car will fly through that light. When a light turns green for me, it really means that I should wait three seconds, then go.

    I save myself from carnage on a weekly basis by doing this. Maybe one of the reasons that accident rates have lowered in Westport is because those of us who drive defensively have learned the following: Aggressive drivers think that green means go, yellow means go real fast, and red means go even faster.