North Carolina saw a number of stay at home orders, with schools and offices closed and curfews placed limiting travel due to COVID-19. As a result, there was a 19% decrease in the number of miles traveled. While one would assume this would be followed by a decrease in fatal crashes, this was unfortunately not the case. In fact, there was an 8% increase in the number of fatal crashes from 2019, making it the deadliest year in 13 years.
Increase in fatal car accidents
According to the state Department of Transportation, there were 1491 fatal crashes in 2020 and 1506 people died in them. This was despite people traveling 99 billion miles compared to the 123 billion in 2019. Before this, the highest number of deaths was in 2007, when more than 1700 fatalities were recorded.
Why are car accidents increasing?
According to experts, there is a sharp increase in people failing to put on their seat belt, resulting in a third of the accidents seen in 2020. About 25% of the crashes were caused by speeding. Alcohol and lane departures were also common causes of accidents.
Experts explain that it can all be linked to the pandemic. People are stressed and distracted by it, and when their mind is not on the task at hand, they drive distracted and end up injuring others on the road. Additionally, drivers took advantage of the relatively empty roads and sped up. Fatigued and distressed people also forget to put on their seatbelts.
Personal injury, wrongful death or catastrophic injuries caused by car accidents resulting from someone else’s negligence can be devastating for accident victims and their loved ones. As they struggle to come to terms with their injuries and the resulting medical expenses, they might want to find out how they can alleviate their financial burden and an experienced attorney can discuss their options with them.