What are the real dangers to drivers on North Carolina's roads?
According to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDOT), there's no real mystery about what leads to the majority of car accidents in the state. Data from 2017 gives us the following information:
- Alcohol is a factor in only 4.1% of crashes -- but it's a factor 26.4% of the time when someone is killed in a car accident.
- Excessive speed is a factor in 33.3% of all crashes and factors into 31.9% of car accident-related deaths.
- Lane departures are also a big issue. Crossing into another driver's lane and veering off the side of the road are at least partially a factor in 22% of accidents and 53.2% of roadway deaths.
- Distracted driving -- which can be anything from texting to eating while driving -- is involved in 19.7% of wrecks and 10.9% of traffic fatalities.
Altogether, there were 275,067 crashes on North Carolina's roads in 2017 -- and 1,287 people were killed. The majority of those killed were in the driver's seat. However, 81,865 other people were injured.
Sadly, despite all of the efforts that go into driver education and control, the averages for all of these accidents, injuries and deaths have been largely the same from 2012 onward. It's smart to stay conscious of the causes for most car accidents and take steps to reduce your own risk of being hurt or killed. Don't drink and drive. Keep your mind and eyes on the road. Stay in your own lane and don't risk losing control of your vehicle by exceeding the posted speed limit or a reasonable speed for the weather.
If you do fall victim to another driver's negligence, it's important to protect your legal rights and explore your options for compensation.