Drivers in North Carolina and throughout the country may have been on the road more in 2015 than in previous years, and experts say this might account for the increase in traffic-related fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths related to motor vehicle accidents jumped more than 7 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year with a total of 35,092 fatalities. It has been 50 years since such a large rise happened in just one year.
While 10 years ago the actual number of people killed was higher, experts say that seat belt compliance and improved safety technology are among the factors that have reduced deaths. In 2015, the number of vehicle miles traveled was the highest for more than two decades due to more jobs and cheaper fuel, and this may be the reason for more fatalities.
However, many of those deaths may have been preventable. People who were killed did not have their seat belts on in nearly 50 percent of the accidents. Nearly one-third involved speeding or a drunk driver while distracted driving was a factor in around 10 percent of crashes. The head of the U.S. Department of Transportation said that safety advocates, researchers and the public needed to work together to reduce the number of accidents.
An accident involving truck driver negligence might be particularly serious due to the vehicle’s size. After such a crash, a person expecting compensation from an insurance company might only be offered a small amount. This could be insufficient to cover significant medical bills and the costs of rehabilitation and missed work. The injured victim may thus want to have the assistance of counsel in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.