There are more cars on the road now than ever before in our nation’s history. Although this makes it easier to get to and from our destinations, it also means that car accidents are on the rise. In fact, the North Carolina Department of Transportation estimates that in a single recent year, there were 267,494 traffic accidents in the state, in which approximately 130,137 people were injured.
These North Carolina car accident statistics can be frightening for residents, especially those who use their cars regularly to go to work and run errands. A serious car accident can leave victims with huge medical bills, vehicle damage, and lost wages. If you were injured in a crash that was not your fault, you should consider speaking with an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney who can evaluate your claim for free.
Understanding Car Accident Statistics in NC
The severity of a car accident depends on a number of different factors, including:
- The speed at which the vehicles were traveling prior to the collision
- The number of vehicles involved in the crash
- The age and general health of the parties involved
- The type of vehicles involved in the crash
- Whether the parties were wearing seat belts
- Whether the airbags in the vehicles deployed properly
Although all of these factors do play a role in the severity of an accident, statistics show that certain individuals are more at risk of being involved in an accident regardless of the circumstances. For instance, in 2016, nearly 107,480 of the 267,494 car accidents that occurred in North Carolina involved drivers between the ages of 20 and 29. Drivers between the ages of 30 and 39 were also involved in a significant number of crashes, accounting for approximately 76,883 accidents in 2016 alone.
Tragically, many of these accidents were fatal. In fact, North Carolina has the fifth highest rate of traffic fatalities in the nation, according to an engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and as reported by ABC 11.
Those who drive certain types of vehicles are also more at risk of being injured in an accident. For example:
- Passenger vehicles were involved in around 266,000 car crashes in North Carolina in a single year. In those types of accidents, approximately 85,000 people were injured.
- Pedestrians have been involved in around 2,344 crashes, and almost all of them, around 2,076, were injured.
- Motorcycle riders are also much more likely to suffer an injury in a collision with a vehicle ─more than 80 percent of people involved in motorcycle crashes in the state suffered an injury.
Drunk Driving Accidents in NC
According to the NCDOT, alcohol plays a role in more than 11,000 crashes every year, accounting for around 4 percent of all car accidents. Tragically, nearly 9,000 people are injured in drunk driving accidents and approximately 400 die as a result of their injuries on a yearly basis.
These types of accidents are particularly dangerous, as intoxicated drivers are much less likely to attempt to slow down or swerve out of the way before the collision. For this reason, many drunk driving accidents occur at high speeds.
Other dangerous types of car accidents that commonly occur in North Carolina include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on car crashes
- Sideswipe accidents
- T-bone collisions
- Multi-car pile-ups
- Underride accidents
Victims who are involved in these types of collisions often suffer serious injuries, such as head trauma, broken bones, burns, and lacerations, all of which can be extremely expensive to treat.
Main Causes of NC Car Accidents
Car accidents in North Carolina, like anywhere else, have a number of different causes. However, certain types of conduct tend to be especially dangerous for drivers.
For example, speeding is estimated to play a role in almost 90,000 accidents every year and cause approximately 48,000 injuries. In fact, when compared with other car accident causes, speeding is responsible for around 34 percent of all collisions. Other common causes of car accidents in North Carolina include:
- Lane departures, are involved in around 61,000 crashes, or 23 percent of accidents, every year
- Distracted driving, is estimated to play a role in around 54,000 car crashes on a yearly basis
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Consuming alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving
- Crossing the centerline
- Improperly changing lanes
- Following too closely
- Making improper turns
- Disregarding traffic signs
Distracted driving has also proven to be especially dangerous for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone else on the road. In fact, driver distraction is estimated to contribute to more than 4,000 car accidents in North Carolina every year. The NCDOT divides these types of collisions into the following categories:
- Accidents that involve a driver being distracted by an electronic communication device, such as texting or using a cellphone
- Accidents involving other electronic distractions, such as navigation systems
- Accidents in which the driver was distracted by other passengers in the car
- Accidents in which the driver was distracted by something outside of the car
Regardless of the cause of a wreck, drivers and passengers who are involved in motor vehicle accidents are often faced with expensive medical bills. Furthermore, many injured parties are not able to return to work for weeks or even months after a crash. Even after they have healed, some still struggle with disabilities for the rest of their lives.
These costs can quickly overwhelm a victim and his or her family members, making it especially important for those who are injured in collisions to speak with an experienced car accident attorney about filing a claim against the at-fault party. Successful plaintiffs are eligible to collect damages compensating them for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Call a Car Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you were injured in an auto accident in North Carolina that was not your fault, you could be eligible for damages. Please contact one of the dedicated car accident lawyers at Pittman today to learn more.