Drivers who text while behind the wheel in North Carolina can be fined $100, but they are assessed no driver's license points and face no auto insurance surcharges. Road safety advocates say that penalties like this do little to deter behavior that is thought to be a major factor in surging traffic accident fatalities. Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that distracted driving accidents claimed 3,450 lives in 2016, but advocacy groups believe that the problem is underreported and the true death toll is actually much higher.
The risk of being involved in a car accident is significant on nearly any road in the United States. And you don’t even need to be in a car to be at risk. Pedestrian accidents continue to be a major problem nationwide, and the problem seems to be getting worse for about half the country.