North Carolina residents have needed to adapt to the current health situation in various ways. From working at home to remote learning and canceling extracurricular activities and vacations, it has been a difficult transition. People have weathered the situation well. Even with that, there are still dangers that can cause injuries and fatalities. Taking to the road at any time can be risky. As new statistics show, fewer people are driving. However, there has been a worrisome increase in fatal auto accidents across the state. Those who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one should know how to proceed after a collision.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) says there were 1,506 road deaths in 1,491 auto accidents in 2020. This happened despite a major decrease in traffic because people were forced to stay at home amid the pandemic. In 2019, people drove approximately 123 billion miles. For 2020, it was an estimated 99 billion miles. For context, there were 1,704 fatalities in 2007 and 2020 is the worst statistical year since then.
There was a 19% drop in miles traveled while fatal accidents increased by 8% when compared to 2019. Drivers are believed to have used the lack of traffic to drive at excessive speeds, drive while distracted, drive drunk or under the influence of drugs, drift out of their lane, and not wear their seatbelts. Teenage fatalities spiked by 15% from 2019 to 2020 with 154 deaths. This was not limited to North Carolina as other states experienced the same issues and more road deaths. Law enforcement and the NCDOT are trying to emphasize the need for safety even with emptier roads and greater opportunity to behave in a dangerous manner.
In some cases, people involved in a crash are lucky and do not suffer severe injuries. Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to be catastrophically injured with brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones, lost limbs and other issues after an accident. In many cases, as these numbers show, there is a fatality. Medical expenses, lost income, emotional trauma and more can arise after a crash. Seeking compensation through a legal filing might be the only strategy to recover a sufficient amount. Before accepting a settlement from an insurance company, it can be helpful to consult with a firm that is experienced in investigating, gathering evidence and moving forward with a legal claim for motor vehicle accidents.