Crashes happen everywhere, and North Carolina is no exception. Every year, the Department of Motor Vehicles collects crash data to determine what kinds of crashes are happening and how the number of crashes is changing from year to year.
The last year of data available, 2019, compares data between 2018 and 2019 to see how crashes may be changing. For example, looking at the data from 2018, there were 1,442 total car crash deaths in the state. In 2019, that number increased to 1,470.
Looking deeper into the statistics, you’ll find that the number of motorcyclists killed increased between those two years. In 2018, 168 motorcyclists died in crashes in the state. In 2019, that number rose to 183.
While on the surface this may seem like the percentage of crashes is increasing, you also have to look at the total number of vehicle miles traveled and other factors. For instance, in 2019, people actually traveled more with 122,506 million vehicle miles traveled. This is compared to 121,134 million vehicle miles the year before.
Where did most fatalities take place?
There are many counties where fatal crashes took place, but some that stand out include Guilford with 64 fatalities, Cumberland with 57 fatalities and Mecklenburg with 94 fatalities. Some areas with the least fatalities were Washington County with one, Perquimans with one, Hyde with zero, Camden with zero and Alleghany with one.
What can drivers do to help make the roads safer?
Since the number of crashes increased between those two years, it’s worth discussing ways to improve safety and to reduce the number of crashes in the future. Drivers can help minimize the risk of crashing by putting down electronic devices and avoiding distractions. Not driving while impaired or drunk is also helpful in reducing these numbers.
Other helpful things to do include performing vehicle maintenance, getting to know the route and getting enough sleep before driving.
It may not be possible to prevent every auto crash, but by addressing common distractions or causes of errors, drivers can help minimize the risk to themselves and others throughout the state.