A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that drivers are 57% more likely to use their phones for texting, sending emails and surfing the web than for actually making a call. North Carolina residents should know that this means drivers are using their phones in riskier ways than before.
The major holidays always lead to more drunk drivers on the road in North Carolina and across the U.S. Many of these drunk drivers get into crashes, and some of these crashes can be fatal. According to data from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the most DUI fatalities occur on the Fourth of July with 1,192 people dying on that holiday between 2010 and 2017.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are safety features on new vehicles that are meant to help drivers avoid accidents. New car owners in North Carolina may have already seen the benefits of ADAS for themselves. According to a study from J.D. Power, more than half of new car owners were able to prevent a crash through ADAS in the first 90 days of owning the vehicle.
According to data maintained by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 37,133 motor vehicle accident fatalities in 2017. Drivers in North Carolina should be aware of which vehicles are involved in the most crashes. This information can be helpful when purchasing a car or simply driving down the road. The vehicles that were most likely to be involved in fatal accidents are all sport coupes or small cars. Smaller and lighter cars do not protect occupants as well as larger, heavier vehicles.
An online study by Wakefield Research that involved nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers and has revealed some interesting trends regarding distracted driving. North Carolina residents should know that nearly half responded that distracted driving is a top concern with them. All but 1% recognized the danger of cellphone use behind the wheel, and 89% percent were quick to criticize ride-hailing drivers who text. Yet many respondents themselves drove distracted.
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.