In a recent report, the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program revealed that the number of people killed in traffic crashes in North Carolina last year was the highest since 1973. In 2021, there were 1,755 highway deaths – a 17.9% increase than just five years earlier in 2016.
Overall, highway traffic deaths per capita have seen a steady decline over the decades. According to NCDOT, highway traffic deaths per capita have gone down 70% between 1968 and 2011. This is due to the increased use of seat belts and the advancement of car safety features, anti-lock brakes, and airbags. However, this recent uptick in accident fatalities proves that there is still progress to be made.
Conflicting Reports Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Traffic safety experts have been puzzled by this upward trend of traffic deaths since the number of collisions decreased as people began driving less due to business and school closures. They have since speculated that this conflicting evidence was due to the increased likelihood of drivers speeding with fewer cars on the road.
Factors Contributing to North Carolina Fatal Crashes in 2021
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, speeding was a factor in about a quarter of highway deaths last year. Another significant factor was decreased seatbelt use among drivers. 43% of those involved in fatal highway crashes in 2021 had access to a seatbelt in their vehicle but did not use one. Out of the 1,755 total deaths, 205 were motorcyclists, and 23 were bicyclists. In addition, pedestrians accounted for 15% of the total crash fatalities – or 256.
This trend reflects a nationwide highway traffic crisis. This month, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 31,720 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes within the first nine months of last year. To mitigate this, the US Department of Transportation announced a new roadway safety strategy that will provide assistance in designing safer roads and require new safety technology on cars and trucks.
North Carolina Car Accident Attorneys Offering You Support in Challenging Times
Now, more than ever, it is critical to be aware of your surroundings when behind the wheel. Although your chances of getting into a catastrophic collision significantly decrease when you practice safe driving habits, the unthinkable could still happen. That is why the attorneys at Henson Fuerst are here for you.
If you or someone close to you has suffered injuries and damages in a car accident through no fault of their own, we will work tirelessly to recover the compensation you need to move forward. Fill out and submit a contact form on our website or call our office at 919-781-1107 to speak with one of our North Carolina car accident attorneys today.