As economic recovery continues to lead to more vehicles and drivers on North Carolina roadways, the number of car accidents has also increased. And along with this increase follows an uptick in injuries and fatalities.
Data from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles shows an overall trend toward more crashes from 2014 and 2015. The number of motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians killed in car accidents has increased. The number of accidents involving teen drivers increased. And the number of accident fatalities has increased.
Certain Cars Offer Better Protection
Information from safety tests can help North Carolina drivers select a vehicle that will best protect them in an accident.
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released data on fatality rates among vehicles in the 2014 model year and equivalent vehicles in the 2012–2015 model years. The 4-door minicars showed the highest overall death rate of 87, while 4-wheel-drive large luxury SUVs have the lowest with 6.
This data corroborates previous studies which have found that, overall, smaller cars are not as safe as some larger cars.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has examined the correlation between the age of the vehicle and the severity of injuries sustained in a collision. Not only were newer vehicles found to offer the best chances of survival in a fatal car accident, but the odds of survival decreased as the model years decreased. In fact, the driver of a car that was more than 18 years old was 71% more likely to be killed than the driver of a car that was three years old or newer. These studies indicate that newer vehicles are generally safer than older vehicles.
While it may seem as though we are stating the obvious, we are. You cannot emphasize enough the importance of being safe on the road.
Negligent Drivers, Responsibility, and Liability
North Carolina law prohibits specific behaviors in order to reduce driver negligence and potential car crashes. Some of these laws prohibit:
- Using cell phones while driving
- Impaired driving under any circumstance
- Aggressive driving
- Operating a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent for present conditions
- Driving more than 80 mph
- Driving 15 mph over a speed limit more than 55 mph
Every driver has a legal obligation to follow these and other safety guidelines. Besides, it is common courtesy. No matter what make, model, or year of car you are driving, each of us must accept personal responsibility for safe driving habits.
Sadly, when someone is negligent behind the wheel, not only could they potentially injure innocent victims, but they can also be injured themselves. Additionally, they may stand to lose a lot financially if found liable for the accident.
Get a Free Case Evaluation From NC Car Accident Lawyers
The experienced car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin have decades of combined experience protecting the rights of accident victims in the Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, Greenville – all areas across North Carolina. Truth be known, we are among the largest personal injury law firms in North Carolina.
Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.3
3Insurance Research Council 1999