The North Carolina Department of Transportation had two big-picture goals for 2020: to improve traffic safety and to reduce the fatality rate for motor vehicle accidents. Sadly, these goals were not met.
Last year, the traffic fatality rate was 1.21. As of this writing, in late December, the traffic fatality rate stands at 1.51. However, the story told by these statistics is a complicated one.
Crashes and miles traveled
The DOT measures the annual fatality rate by taking the number of motor vehicle accident fatalities and dividing it by the estimated vehicle miles traveled. which it counts in 100 millions. The statistics are not yet finalized, but it’s possible that the numbers are somewhat skewed by the fact that many North Carolina drivers traveled less in 2020 than they usually do.
According to the DOT, North Carolinians traveled 1,225.06 million miles in 2019, had 318,544 crashes and 1,479 fatalities. As of this writing, in 2020, North Carolinians had traveled 901.99 million miles and had 209,613 crashes, with 1,365 fatalities.
Big statistics, personal tragedies
The DOT’s statistics help the agency keep track of the big picture, but no one should ever forget that these numbers represent real people. Every one of these fatalities means tragedy for a family. Nearly every record of a nonfatal accident means an injury. Many of these injuries are catastrophic.
The injured are left with pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. In cases of serious injury, their lives may never be the same again. After a fatal accident, the victim’s family is left without the income, support and companionship of their loved one.
After an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, the injured and their family may hold the negligent driver liable for their damages. In this way, they can be compensated for all the losses they suffered as a result of the accident.
Successfully pursuing a personal injury claim is not easy, and it’s even harder to recover the full amount of compensation the injured and their families need and deserve. An experienced attorney can help people understand their rights and options after suffering from the effects of a terrible accident.