Car Crash Statistics – North Carolina
Motor Vehicle Accidents and Fatalities
According to estimates by the National Safety Council, there were 1,400 fatalities in 2016 in North Carolina. This is an increase from 2015 which reported 1,385 fatalities. North Carolina is the ninth most populous state in the U.S. and recorded the fifth most motor vehicle fatalities in 2016.
A total of 251,638 traffic crashes were reported in 2015 resulting in 1,380 fatalities Reportable traffic crashes increased by 11.1%, and fatalities increased by 8.1% compared to 2014.
Causes of Accidents and Fatalities
Speed and distracted driving were cited as the biggest reasons for car crashes. Failing to fasten seat belt is also on the rise.
Motor vehicle crashes involving a teen driver increased by 2.6%. Speeding related teen driver crashes increased by 0.5%. A total of 77 fatal crashes resulted in the death of 81 teens. Out of these fatalities, 53% were due to a lack of seat belt usage, 22.2% were alcohol-related, and 45.7% were speed related.
30.7% of all fatalities in the state were related to speeding. 42% of the fatalities included people who were unbelted while 30.1% fatalities were alcohol-related. Distracted driving accounted for 11.7% of the total fatalities.
Lower gas prices and an improving economy have also played a role in the increase in car crash fatalities and accidents. More people are on the road, including teen drivers and more miles are traveled due to low gas prices.
The highest number of alcohol-related fatalities and speeding related fatalities were reported within the 20 to 29 age brackets. This group also had the highest number of unbelted fatalities and fatalities due to improper lane departure.
Drivers distracted by a cell phone contributed to 1264 crashes in 2015. 13 of these crashes were fatal. In 2014, 1132 crashes resulted due to cell phone use resulting in 9 fatalities. Despite the fact that a texting while driving law is in effect in North Carolina, it is still a challenge to get the evidence to prove such a charge. Less than half of those charged actually get convicted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 10% of all drivers in the 15-19 years age group are distracted. Those in their 20s account for 38% of all distracted drivers who used a cell phone and were involved in a fatal crash.
72.3% of all crashes in the state occurred between 7 am to 6:59 pm. Motor vehicle fatalities were highest in May followed by September and July.
Out of 1380 fatalities in 2015, 405 deaths were within ages 20-29, 314 within ages 30-39, 296 in the 40-49 ages, 280 within the 50-59 group, 195 within the 50-59 age bracket, 195 within 60-69, 108 within the 70-79 group, 64 within ages 80-89 and 9 within the 80-89 age group.