Causes of Car Accidents in North Carolina

Car Accident Lawyer

According to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 267,494 traffic crashes reported statewide in 2016, representing an increase from the previous year of 6.3 percent. During the same time period, there was a 5.3 percent increase in the number of injuries from traffic accidents in North Carolina and a 4.4 percent increase in traffic fatalities.

You may feel hopeless in the face of statistics like these, but by understanding some of the most common causes of North Carolina car accidents, it may be possible for you to modify your behavior and decrease your chances of becoming involved in a collision.

Drunk Driving

There are always alternatives to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Nevertheless, in 2016, 4.2 percent of all North Carolina car accidents occurred as the result of alcohol. The legal blood alcohol concentration level in North Carolina is 0.08. In 2016, the total number of drivers with a BAC at or above the legal limit who were involved in crashes was 4,455, over half of whom (2,329) had a BAC of 0.15 or more.

Distracted Driving

At least 20.3 percent of North Carolina traffic crashes involved a driver who was distracted at the time of the accident, which is to say that he or she was engaged in a non-driving activity while also operating a vehicle. However, the prevalence of distracted driving in North Carolina may be underestimated because data regarding driver distraction is entirely self-reported.

Driver distractions can, and often do, involve using a cell phone, but other activities, including fiddling with car controls, grooming, eating, and drinking, can also qualify as distractions.


People in North Carolina have many reasons for exceeding the posted speed limits. They may be running late, feel angry or impatient, be distracted, or simply exercise poor judgment. Regardless of the reason, speeding caused 33.6 percent of all North Carolina crashes in 2016. Speed limits are carefully calculated and imposed to minimize the risks of driving and improve safety.

Lane Departure

Lane departure involves allowing your vehicle to stray to the side of the road or into other driving lanes. It can result from driver distraction or impairment due to alcohol. A driver who is fatigued may also drift out of his or her lane due to falling asleep at the wheel. Whatever the reason behind lane departure, it accounted for 22.9 percent of North Carolina crashes in 2016.

You may become involved in a car accident despite your best efforts. In that case, contact a car accident lawyer in Bristol, TN to see how they can assist you in your particular situation.

Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into personal injury and car accidents.