In recent years, road safety has been a primary concern in North Carolina and throughout the United States. Accidents with injuries and fatalities have been spiking noticeably. With the numbers from 2021 now being analyzed, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) reports that the state roads had the most fatalities in around five decades. Those heading out should be cognizant of the contributing factors and the dangers they may face.
Although advancements in auto manufacturing have made the roads far safer than in the early-1970s, that does not alter the statistics showing that in 2021, there were 1,755 road fatalities in the Tar Heel State. This is the highest total since 1973 when 1,892 people lost their lives. In the previous decade, highway fatalities rose by 45%. Experts say that this is a national problem and great effort and vigilance is needed to try and turn the tide.
Considering recent events, researchers, legislators and law enforcement were surprised that the roads became more dangerous. Since many people were working from home and children were taking part in remote learning, there was less traffic. Fewer vehicles on the road led to the assumption that there would be a decrease in accidents and fatalities. However, drivers used the emptier roads to speed, drive while distracted and take other liberties that they otherwise might not have taken.
The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Program reports that around 25% of all fatal highway collisions were speed-related. Motorcyclists and pedestrians were also prominently featured in the spike. There was a 15% rise in motorcyclist fatalities with 205 losing their lives. There were 256 pedestrian deaths. Along with state agencies, the federal government is seeking solutions to make the roads safer. Unfortunately, as the statistics indicate, it is a complicated endeavor.
In addition to the emotional aftermath of losing a loved one unexpectedly in a fatal auto accident, many other challenges will need to be addressed. There may be medical expenses that accrued before the person succumbed to their injuries. Household income can be dramatically reduced. The family may be confronted with other long-term issues. Trusting insurance companies to cover for all that was lost is often a mistake. The entire situation must be investigated and information gathered to decide on what should be done. For advice and guidance, having professional help may be crucial.