Are Fatal Auto Accidents Becoming More Common in North Carolina?
You may have heard that there has been a tremendous increase in fatal auto accidents in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Administration reported that between 2014 and 2015, the increase was greater than 7%, with more than 35,000 fatalities in US auto accidents in 2015. With this information, you might be wondering if the same holds true for North Carolina, and the unsettling answer is, ‘yes.’ North Carolina, in fact, is number 5 in the top ten states which have seen such a tremendous increase in auto accident fatalities, with an increase of 26% from 2014 to 2015. This includes those fatalities associated with auto accidents involving pedestrians, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks and commercial vehicles, and other auto accident fatalities.
This naturally leads us to the question of why this increase in deaths caused by auto accidents is happening and what, if anything, can be done to curb the unsettling rise in fatalities. This question is especially important when we observe how safety measures have increased and improved over the years. There are better airbags these days, blind-spot warning systems, backup cameras, and more that can certainly help to prevent such incidents from occurring or from resulting in death. So, why are these deadly collisions on the rise and what more can we do?
Why Have Fatal Auto Accidents Increased in North Carolina and the United States?
This important question is not only on the minds of the citizens of the US and North Carolina but is also of key importance to the researchers of the National Highway Traffic Administration and the Department of Transportation. Thus, these entities have set about investigating the possible causes in hopes of identifying and implementing effective solutions to the problem.
Through this research, they have discovered multiple contributing factors, including:
- Reduced Unemployment and Improving Job Growth
- The Reduced Price of Gasoline
- Negligent Behavior on the Part of Drivers
The combination of reduced gasoline prices and diminished unemployment rates has resulted in 3.5% more total miles driven in the United States between the years of 2014 and 2015. We have not seen such an increase in driven miles in nearly a quarter of a century. Naturally, the increase in drivers on the road is going to contribute to the increase in auto accidents, which again leads to an increase in fatal accidents. Then, you have the added factor of an increase in negligent behavior from drivers, particularly in the area of distracted driving, as technology use increases from year to year.
Other than distracted driving, intoxicated driving and drowsy driving are also increasing as contributing factors to auto accidents and fatalities. Even choosing not to buckle up can result in death in a serious accident. No amount of improved safety measures can entirely eliminate these factors, but is there anything that can be done to reduce traffic fatalities in North Carolina and throughout the states?
The Significance of Distractions While Driving Motor Vehicles
Among the most serious and common contributors to the increase in auto accident fatalities is the rise in distracted driving cases. Although many other factors contribute to such auto accidents, none is more prominent than the factor of distracted driving. Other mistakes that people make, such as not buckling up, have remained steady in their numbers from one year to the next; but the number of accidents caused by distraction continues to grow and remains a leading cause of collisions in NC.
This comes from the use of complex navigation systems, the temptation to check your smartphone, text your friends and family and look up your favorite songs on mobile devices. Then there are the distractions that have always existed and continue to lead to accidents, such as talking to other passengers, fiddling with your radio, eating, or searching for dropped items.
What Can We Do To Stop the Rise in North Carolina Auto Accident Fatalities?
Because the rise in technology use has led to a tremendous rise in distracted driving auto accidents and auto accident fatalities, this has led some researchers and seekers of solutions to wonder if the best route forward is to invest more time and money into self-driving vehicles. Yet, we are not only seeking solutions to these new issues that arise from technology use but are also seeking ways of preventing auto accident fatalities that are caused by the same old problems that have been around since people first started driving motor vehicles. For this reason, there are campaigns and laws concerning wearing a seatbelt, avoiding drowsy driving, and not getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
What Can You Do if Someone You Love Died in a North Carolina Auto Accident?
While the efforts to investigate, minimize, and prevent auto accident fatalities are welcome news to those who have already lost loved ones to such incidents, they do not bring back those who have been forever lost to those who loved them most. If you have lost a loved one to an auto accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver or a faulty mechanical part in a vehicle, then you may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death auto accident claim. Contact a determined North Carolina auto accident lawyer at Brown Moore & Associates to learn more about how we can pursue your claim for compensation.