What types of crashes have been occurring in Hartford, and who is being affected?

by Joe & Evan

Last updated on 4/17/2023

for Data Visualization for All
with Prof. Jack Dougherty
Trinity College, Hartford CT, USA


As a whole, Connecticut has been dealing with a crash problem for a number of years now. While the entire state of Connecticut is suffering, we want to dive deep into the Hartford data. To keep Hartford as safe as possible we want to gather data that will lead us to understand how and when crashes happen in Hartford specifically. We are focusing on Hartford because we are working with our Hartford Community partners to better understand the city. Hartford is also a place where we, as Trinity College students, will be spending many years of our lives so we want to keep it as safe as possible. We are using the Uconn crash data from 2018-2022 to help us answer the following questions. “What types of injuries are sustained in Hartford Crashes & how has this data changed from 2018-2022” And, "How Has Weather Affected Hartford Crashes & How Has This Changed Over the Years?” Once we answer these questions and look at the data in our charts we will be able to see and understand the most common types of crashes and the severity of them as well as how weather has affected Hartford since 2018. Our hope for all of this is to limit the crashes happening in Hartford by outlining, and comparing, the different types of crashes. The first pattern/correlation that we would like to examine is, the severity of injuries resulting from crashes occurring in Hartford?

Injury Related Crashes

In 2022, alone, there were 5,289 crashes that occurred in Hartford, Connecticut (UCONN Crash Data Repository). Although it is easy to know that this is a very high number, We wanted to investigate the turnouts of these crashes by injuries. Which types of injuries are happening the most often? How many of these injuries are happening? And has this changed over time? All questions that we aimed to answer by specifically highlighting minor, serious, and fatal injuries over the last five years (2018-2022).

(Crash Severity Chart)

As we can see in the chart above, fatal crashes occur far less than one might expect. Minor injuries are by far the leading outcome of moter vehical crashes getting as high as 779 crashes is 2018. Since 2018, there has been a steady decline in the number of suspected minor crashes with a slight increase in 2022. As for the fatal and serious crashes, those have stayed fairly stagnant with slight increases or deacreses from year to year.

Crashes in Hartford, can and have had significant impacts on pedestrians and cyclists , specifically disproportionate injuries and fatalities. For example, each year, roughly 19% of all traffic fatalities and roughly 2% of all traffic injuries are happening towards either cyclists or pedestrians (US Department of Transportation). Considering that cyclists and pedestrians don't even make up close to 19% of all traffic incidents, they are very disproportionately affected, even more so in fatality. These vulnerable people are at a higher risk of injury or even death in the event of a collision with a vehicle because of their lack of protection and reaction time. Pedestrians and cyclists may even be less visible to drivers, especially at night and around tight courners. As a result, it is very important for drivers to be aware of their surroundings and obey traffic laws to minimize the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of all people in Hartford.

Weather Related Crashes

Being that Hartford lies in the Northeast, in New England specifically, the weather and seasons are changing very frequently. In agreement with common belief, these changes in weather are responsible for many crashes that otherwise may not have occurred. By using the Hartford crash data, we want to be able to see how weather has affected Hartford crashes over the years. In our chart, we used the years 2018-2022, and the weather conditions “rain”, “snow”, “clear”, and “cloudy” in order to draw conclusions about this. To our surprise we found that “clear” weather conditions existed the most during Hartford crashes, with around 80% or more of crashes occurring during clear conditions each year. In a far second, “Rain”, third, “Cloudy", and fourth “Snow”. As a whole, we saw an overall downwards trend in crashes during every condition since 2018.

(Weather affects on crashes chart)

As stated earlier, there was an overall decrease in crashes since 2018. In "clear" conditions, we saw roughly a 22% decrease. In "cloudy" conditions and "rain" conditions, we saw about a 37% decrease. And in "snow" conditions we saw about a 41% decrease when comparing 2018 and 2022. Since all the conditions have been decreasing, meaning less crashes, we can conclude this is a good thing and it could have to do with new technology and infrastrucutre installments that further neurtalizing the effects of the weather on driving and travelling. As the years go on, it is very important to monitor weather and its correlations with crashes so that we can make necessary changes in order to keep Hartford residents safe all year round.

CONCLUSION: In order to improve the wellbeing of Hartford and its residents in terms of traffic safety, we need to outline, find, and analyze patterns and correlation that are present in the data. When doing so, we are able to highlight possible factors that cause issues which can result in crashes. In our data, we were able to focus specifically on the types of people being affected, the injuries that are resulting, and the weathers affect on Hartford crashes to give a good background understanding to our Hartford community partners so that crash prevention becomes easier and easier as time goes on.

Sources & Methods

Below, there will be articles and sources that we used listed which focus on Hartford and Connecticut crashes which can help you to build a stronger background in the area, help you make more sense of the data, and help you learn more in general. We also wanted to add more information about Connecticut crashes and pedestrian saftey. While many crashes happen in Connecticut every year, we often fail to remember that pedestrians and cyclists are also heavily effected. With lack of protection and reaction time, pedestrians are often more severly injured compared to moterists. Below is a link to CT Insider as well as other surrounding sources.

CT INSIDER - Walsh, M. (2022, October 3). 'I'm going to die right now': Why West Hartford pedestrians feel unsafe and how town is responding. CT Insider. Retrieved May 1, 2023, from https://www.ctinsider.com/news/article/West-Hartford-pedestrian-safety-17478465.php

US DOT - Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety. Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety | FHWA. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2023, from https://highways.dot.gov/safety/pedestrian-bicyclist

CT Mirror - Katy Golvala, D. A. (2022, December 23). Best of 2022: CT's roads are deadlier than ever. figuring out why is complicated. CT Mirror. Retrieved May 1, 2023, from https://ctmirror.org/2022/12/25/ct-roads-fatal-car-crash/

UCONN Crash Data Repository - Connecticut Crash Data Repository. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2023, from https://ctcrash.uconn.edu/

Data Vizulation for All - Jack Dougherty and Ilya Ilyankou, Hands-On Data Visualization: Interactive Storytelling from Spreadsheets to Code (O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2021)


To investigate the correlations and patterns in Hartford crashes, we used data from the UCONN Crash Data Repository (Linked Above). When we wanted to concentrate on specific correlations, such as weather, and severity of injury, we created pivot tables which can be learned through chapter 2 of the "Data Vizulation for All" book (https://handsondataviz.org/pivot.html). After we made meaningful pivot tables, we then used Datawrapper(https://www.datawrapper.de/) to create charts which effectively portray our findings.

Concers With Our Data:

Although we have found trends and correlations using the data, we should be cautious. Firstly, a lot of the data not shown is in categories such as “unknown” or “not applicable”. Because of this, we cannot be so sure that these charts would be the same if we had knowledge of this “unknown” data. This is because the data is the result of reports by Police Officers so we can conclude that there may be many mistakes made in these reports as Police Officers are humans, leaving us with some concern for some of the data that we pulled from the UCONN Crash Data Repository (2018-2022).