Traffic deaths declined in 2023 but serious risks remain

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Personal Injury

There’s good news report as you navigate North Carolina’s bustling highways. Traffic deaths have shown a notable decrease across the United States.

According to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 44,500 people died on U.S. highways in 2023, a 4% drop in roadway fatalities compared to the previous year. However, 2023’s national figures are still 13.6% higher than 2019.

Closer to home, North Carolina reported 1,662 traffic deaths in 2023 compared to 1,819 in 2022, which amounts to a significant 9% reduction.

Leading causes of motor vehicle accidents

While we’re moving in the right direction, the journey to safer highways remains full of hazards. Understanding why most accidents occur can help you stay safe. Here are the primary crash causes:

  • Distracted driving, such as using smartphones
  • Speeding, which reduces reaction time
  • Impaired driving due to alcohol or drugs
  • Inclement weather affecting visibility and road conditions
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Running red lights and stop signs

Despite North Carolina’s decreased crash death figures, 2023 was a mixed bag nationwide. On the one hand, 12 states saw decreases in fatalities of 10% or more. Unfortunately, seven states, along with the District of Columbia, witnessed increases in traffic deaths of 10% or more.

Tips for staying safe on the highway

To protect yourself and your loved ones, consider these tips from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

  • Always wear your seatbelt, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle.
  • Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Keep a safe following distance to react in time.
  • Drive at speeds appropriate for the road conditions.
  • Minimize distractions by setting your phone aside while driving.
  • Ensure your vehicle’s safety features are functioning properly.

By integrating these practices into your daily driving routine, you contribute to making our roads safer for everyone. Remember, each action you take behind the wheel can profoundly impact not just on your own life but the lives of others.

If a negligent driver injures you or a loved one, getting experienced assistance from a North Carolina personal injury lawyer can help protect your physical and financial well-being.