North Carolina Drivers in Significantly More Fatal Collisions in 2015

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects data on the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents. NHTSA keeps track of total deaths, causes of deaths, and fatality rates. The goal is to monitor trends, see if roads are becoming safer or not, and find ways to improve vehicles, laws, and safety practices among motorists. 

NHTSA data had been showing good news- but this has changed now. While car accident death rates had been on a downward trend, 2015’s preliminary data is out and there were significantly more people killed in car wrecks over the course of the year.

NHTSA is referring to the new information as troubling and urging the statistics to serve as a call to action so motorists can do better next year. Even one more deadly crash means one more life ruined, and a significant increase in fatalities has huge societal costs. Drivers simply need to ensure they do better in 2016 so the rise in car accident fatalities this year does not become a troubling upward trend.

More Drivers Killed in Car Crashes in 2015 Compared With 2014

NHTSA reports there were 32,675 total motorists, pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcyclists who were killed in accidents involving vehicles over the course of 2014. Of those killed, 21,022 were in vehicles as drivers or passengers at the time of their death. The rate of fatalities in 2014, measured by calculating the number of people who died for each 100 million vehicle miles traveled, was 1.07. The death toll in 2014 was .1 percent lower than 2013.

In 2015, however, there were 8.1 more deaths than in 2014 and the fatality rate rose 4.4 percent. These are significant increases. While the 8.1 percent increase can be partly explained by the effect of low gas prices and improving economic conditions on road traffic, the rise in fatality rate can only by explained by recognizing the fact motorists simply were not as safe when operating their vehicles.

The nationwide trend towards more car crashes in 2015 was repeated in North Carolina, which means motorists in the state need to be especially aware of the fact motorists were not as safe last year as they were in prior years.

Within the state of North Carolina, 593 people were killed in car crashes over the first six months of the year in 2013. National Safety Council reported a decline in car crash deaths in the first six months of 2014, compared with the year before. In 2014, there were 531 people who died in North Carolina from January through June. In 2015, however, the number of people who lost their lives in deadly motor vehicle collisions in the first half of the year was 634. This is a seven percent jump in deaths from 2013 and a 19 percent rise in the number of people who were killed in the state between 2014 and 2015.

As 2015 draws to a close, it is too late for motorists to make a substantial change now to bring crash death rates down. Drivers, however, must do better in 2016 so there is not another year of more people losing their lives in motor vehicle collisions.