According to North Carolina traffic crash data for 2021, more than 114,000 people were injured in the state in traffic crashes that year. A total of 1,783 people were killed in fatal crashes, which represents an increase of 7.5% compared to numbers for 2020.
Some of the most common reasons for car accidents in North Carolina include speeding, improper lane departure, and distracted driving. Keep reading to find out more about the nature of car accidents in North Carolina, including what types of accidents are most common. Then learn about how a personal injury lawyer in the state can help if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
Common Contributing Factors to Car Accidents in North Carolina
While many car accidents in North Carolina are listed as having no indicated contributing factors, many others are reported as occurring because someone failed to obey a traffic signal, sign, or other requirement. The top car accident contributing factor in 2021 was failure to reduce speed, which can mean several things. Someone may not have reduced their speed appropriately to follow the allowed speed limit, to account for road conditions, or to make a maneuver such as a turn. Failure to reduce speed was listed as a contributing factor in more than 66,000 incidents in 2021.
Other factors that contribute to high numbers of vehicle crashes include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Inattention to the road or task of driving, which might include being distracted or texting while driving
- Operating a vehicle in a way that is careless or aggressive
- Making an improper lane change, which can include making a lane change when it’s not allowed, failing to signal, or making an aggressive lane change that results in a collision
- Overcorrecting for an issue, such as oversteering when an obstacle is in the roadway
- Disregarding traffic signals or signs, such as running a red light or failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign
- Alcohol use, resulting in impaired driving
Car Accidents in the State by Age
When looking at total crashes by age, teen drivers and those in their twenties are more likely to be involved in accidents in the state. Here are the total crash numbers by age for 2021 in North Carolina:
- Teen drivers: 49,606
- Drivers age 20-29: 105,525
- Drivers age 30-39: 81,458
- Drivers age 40-49: 63,697
- Drivers age 50-59: 56,576
- Drivers age 60-69: 40,782
- Drivers age 70-79: 21,967
- Drivers age 80-89: 6,708
- Drivers age 90+: 756
As you can see, for adult drivers, the crash figures drop substantially with age. At the older end of the spectrum, this is partly due to fewer drivers of that age on the road. However, annual statistics on car accidents in North Carolina — and elsewhere in the nation — tend to indicate that drivers in their teens and early 20s present the most risk for crashes. That’s one reason why car insurance can be so expensive at those ages.
Note that these figures don’t add up to the total number of crashes in the state for the year because each crash can have multiple drivers involved.
Types of Vehicles Involved in Crashes
Passenger cars account for the highest number of vehicles in car accidents in North Carolina as well as the highest number of injuries and fatalities. This is due in part to the fact that there are more passenger cars on the road than other types of vehicles.
Sport utility vehicles take the second place followed by pickup trucks. Together, passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks made up more than 87% of the vehicles involved in crashes in North Carolina in 2021.
Vans, light trucks, single unit trucks, semi-trailers and truck trailers, and motorcycles fall into the next level, with each type accounting for thousands of vehicles in accidents in the state annually.
Some vehicle types with the lowest involvement in crashes include buses, taxicabs, farm equipment, RVs, fire trucks, and EMS vehicles.
How Many Car Accidents Involve Injuries or Fatalities?
In 2021, there were 276,026 recorded crashes in North Carolina. Of those, 74,639 included injuries and 1,653 included fatalities. That’s 27% and 0.5% respectively. That means more than 70% of car accidents in the state for that year did not involve injuries or fatalities — typically these are minor incidents like fender benders. Those percentages are similar to the figures recorded each year from 2016 through 2020.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured in a Car Accident?
Car accidents come in all types, from minor fender benders to serious incidents that total vehicles and leave people in the hospital. If you were in a car accident of the type that leaves you with losses and injuries, you don’t have to face those challenges alone.
An experienced car accident attorney can help by reviewing your case and letting you know what options you have for seeking compensation. For more information about what options you have, reach out to the Osborne Law Firm today.