With the advent of improved safety features and better enforcement of traffic laws, accidents have declined in North Carolina substantially over the numbers from 20 years ago. However, a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents around the country actually increased over the number of people who were killed in collisions in 2014.
According to the NHTSA, 35,092 people died in car crashes in 2015, representing a year-over-year increase of 7.2 percent. A single-year increase in traffic fatalities has not been that large since 1966. The U.S. Transportation Secretary called for safety experts and researchers to look at the data in order to determine possible ways to address the problem.
Part of the increase may be attributed to the fact that more people are driving with the lower gas prices and lower unemployment rates. Commutes are longer as well for many people. In slightly more than half of the fatal accidents, the passengers were not using safety belts. Thirty percent of the accidents were caused by drunk or speeding drivers, and approximately 10 percent of the accidents were caused by distracted drivers.
Car accidents may devastate the lives of the people who are injured and the families of those who are killed. When an accident is caused by a driver’s negligence, the injured victims or the families of people who are killed might want to file lawsuits against the at-fault motorist. An attorney can often be helpful in determining the types and amounts of damages to be sought.