The roads in North Carolina can be dangerous at any time. There are, however, factors that can lead to a rise in auto accidents. Often, people think about obvious risky behaviors like distracted driving, drivers who are under the influence, drowsy drivers, and drivers who behave recklessly. If environmental and societal issues are added to the mix, the roads can become exponentially treacherous. It is important to accurately analyze the statistics to understand the dangers and mitigate them. Still, auto accidents with injuries and fatalities are frequently unavoidable.
A statistical assessment of auto accidents in 2020 indicates that drivers are increasingly taking part in risky behaviors and this has resulted in a statistical spike in fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the total number of accidents declined in 2020, but there was a rise in fatal accidents when calculating the number of miles traveled. The reduction in traffic was due to the pandemic and people working from home, children learning remotely and there being fewer vacations and leisure trips.
The NHTSA says that for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, there were 1.25 road fatalities. This was a rise of almost 18%. The second quarter of the year saw that number increase to 1.42 deaths for that same number of miles traveled. Alcohol and drugs were viewed as primary contributors. In March, slightly more than 20% of fatalities involved alcohol. By mid-July, that has grown to nearly 27%. Marijuana was present in 21.4% and increased to just above 31% by July. Opioids went from 7.6% to just shy of 13%. Empty roads and less law enforcement gave drivers the freedom to speed, ingest alcohol and use drugs with a reduced fear of arrest and open roads to be aggressive and negligent.
An auto accident can cause a seemingly endless array of challenges no matter the circumstances. With the ongoing health crisis, lives are being damaged in myriad ways due to the pandemic and unexpected behaviors that have accompanied it. These statistics emphasize how people have changed the way they drive. People who are driving safely and cautiously may find themselves injured because of these behaviors. Medical expenses, lost income and long-term problems can come about after car accidents. When there is a fatality, there is a host of other aftereffects a family will face. To recover compensation for all that was lost, it is important to have legal advice from the start. This can be helpful in determining the cause, gathering evidence and taking the necessary steps to file a claim.