Traffic deaths are rising rapidly across North Carolina, and while some types of fatal crashes decreased in 2021, other types became far more common. Many of 2021’s fatal car wrecks shared similar characteristics in common. Recognizing what these factors are should help motorists learn to mitigate them.
According to the Herald Sun, there were 31,720 road deaths that took place across the nation between January and September of 2021. On the national level, there were more road fatalities during the first nine months of 2021 than there were during the first nine months of any other year since 2006.
North Carolina, alone, saw 1,755 traffic fatalities in 2021. This is the highest number of road deaths seen within state lines since 2007. It is also a 5% increase over the number of traffic fatalities seen the year prior. While these numbers are sobering, they do not take into account the thousands of people who suffer injuries in car crashes but do not die from them in North Carolina each year.
While fatalities involving cyclists and pedestrians have actually declined in North Carolina in recent years, fatal wrecks involving several other factors have risen rapidly. Many North Carolina fatal and nonfatal car wrecks involve speed or driver distraction. A lack of seat belt use is also a common factor in car crashes resulting in at least one fatality.
In response to rising fatality and car crash rates, safety advocates in North Carolina are seeking ways to lower the number of deadly crashes occurring within state lines. The governor’s office awarded more than $18 million in grants intended to improve safety on state roadways.