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NSC estimates 2019 traffic death numbers, notes areas of concern

| Feb 27, 2020 | Wrongful Death |

North Carolina drivers should know that the number of traffic deaths has definitely gone down when compared to the 1970s but is still too high. The National Safety Council released its preliminary estimate for 2019 and stated that approximately 38,800 people died in traffic accidents that year. The good news is that this is 2% fewer than in 2018 and 4% fewer deaths than in 2017.

Traffic deaths declined 13% or more in the states of Alaska, Nevada, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Vermont as well as in Washington, D.C. The NSC also noted the benefit of certain actions taken to mitigate crash numbers. For example, Utah lowered the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration from .08 to .05. Ten cities have adopted a Vision Zero model for crash mitigation, doing things like redesigning crash-prone areas.

The NSC also reported on the benefits of advanced driver assistance systems, but without an established safety culture, even these systems can pose a danger. The problem is that drivers can become too used to the safety features and think that they don’t have to pay as much attention to the road when the features are engaged. Another problem is that the individual features that make up ADAS tech have yet to be thoroughly examined.

Regardless of how high-tech their vehicle is, drivers will be held liable for any crashes they cause whether through inattention or something more grievous like alcohol intoxication. Victims of such crashes may want to seek adequate compensation for their medical expenses, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering and emotional trauma. To seek this, victims will need to file a personal injury claim. North Carolina bars anyone from recovery who contributes even partially to a crash, so victims may want a lawyer to assess the case.

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