Rise in Fatal Car Crashes on RI Roads: State Police “Wolfpack” Respond

m_FRS330539-300x199From January to early May, 23 people have been killed so far this year in Rhode Island car accidents. For the past four years, the number of deaths in Rhode Island auto accidents has increased and there are a few different theories for the increase in traffic deaths throughout the state. One thought involves the COVID-19 pandemic which saw a great reduction in the number of drivers on the road.  However, having less vehicles to contend with, the motorists that were using the roads felt like they could driver faster, and more recklessly, than usual. Higher speeds result in an increased crash risk and higher likelihood of death. As other parts of daily life return to normal and more vehicles appear on the road, unfortunately, the dangerous habits that some of these drivers picked up didn’t disappear. In addition, the pandemic exponentially increased general anxiety in everyday life, which all too often correlates with an increase in drug and alcohol use. As a personal injury lawyer, Attorney David Tapalian saw an increase in RI car accidents resulting from drivers acting recklessly on the roads and driving under the influence.

Role of the Wolfpack

Formed in 2019 and nicknamed the “wolfpack”, the State Police Traffic Safety Unit makes sure that people are aware of their existence. On a quest to decrease the amount of fatal car accidents on Rhode Island roadways, the officers ensure that they are visibly present on the highways in an effort to deter reckless motorists. A recent interaction involved an officer pulling over a 19-year-old male for trying to prompt other cars to race him on the highway. The officer pulled the teen over and began the protocol to test for driving under the influence. Law enforcement stresses the importance of going through the process of conducting the entirety of the test when there is proper warrant to pull someone over. By going through the motions, people are deterred from engaging in reckless behavior in the future, including both the person in question and those who happen to see while passing. The Department of Transportation is also expected to increase funding for the Traffic Safety Unit which will be used to double the size of the “wolfpack” and keep RI drivers safer on the roads.

Government Responses

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has made a big effort to inform people of the damages that can result from careless driving; over 8 million dollars has been spent on ads that show the most devastating results of a crash, such as family members crying, bodies in a morgue, and crushed cars. The department also placed alarm systems on ramps that go off and activate bright lights to alert a driver that they are driving in the wrong direction. Video footage shows that the alarms are working, and multiple people turned around before being involved in what could have been a fatal head-on crash. The government is also pushing people to pay attention to those around them before they even get behind the wheel of a car; if someone you know seems unfit to drive a vehicle, be sure to take their keys and make sure they do not drive.

A RI Personal Injury Attorney Can Assist Car Accident Victims

If you, or someone you love, has been involved in a vehicle collision caused by a driver who was drunk, speeding, or otherwise acting negligently, seek legal help right away from Tapalian Law, a personal injury law firm highly experienced with RI auto accident law. Attorney David Tapalian has over 20 years of experience helping victims of personal injury in RI, MA, and FL, seek the compensation they deserve after being hurt. Nobody should have to suffer serious injuries, or the death of a family member, at the hands of a careless driver. Attorney Tapalian can help you negotiate the economic hardships that follow a traumatic accident and will fight to get you the maximum amount of money for your losses. If you have lost a loved one, we will discuss your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your beloved. Throughout the duration of your claim, you will work directly with Attorney Tapalian and be supported by him and his skilled team.  To find out how we can help you, call Tapalian Law today at 401-552-5000, or schedule a free consultation with a dedicated injury lawyer today.   

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