Our North Carolina car accident lawyers welcome the news that the Carolinas contributed to reducing the nation’s traffic deaths to a level not seen since 1950. That is good news. But we continue to be alarmed by the fact that alcohol remains the leading cause of death on the nation’s roads.
Alcohol was involved in about one-third of all fatal car accidents nationwide. Overall, the number of fatal drunk driving accidents declined to 10,839 last year, from the 11,711 reported in 2008. A total of 33 states reported fewer drunk driving fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“We are still losing more than 30,000 lives a year on our highways, and about a third of these involve drunk driving,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said. “We will continue to work with our state partners to strictly enforce both seat belt use and anti-drunk driving laws across this nation, every day and every night.”
Fatal North Carolina drunk driving accidents declined to 363 last year, compared to the 423 reported in 2008. A total of 377 South Carolina drunk driving accidents were reported last year, compared to 400 in 2008. Twenty-eight percent of all fatal North Carolina accidents involve alcohol, while an astounding 42 percent of South Carolina traffic fatalities are alcohol related. Only Connecticut and Hawaii had a higher percentage of alcohol crashes.
Overall, North Carolina reported 1,314 traffic deaths, compared to the 894 in South Carolina.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving said last year’s decline in drunk driving deaths mean alcohol-related traffic fatalities have been nearly cut in half in the 30 years since the organization’s founding. But the organization acknowledged that there is much more that needs to be done.
“With drunk driving now 32 percent of all highway fatalities, we remain as committed as ever to eliminating this problem through support for the heroes on our highways, laws requiring convicted drunk drivers to blow before they go with ignition interlocks, and efforts to turn cars into the cure through smart car technology,” said MADD President Laura Dean-Mooney.
The North Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith represents clients throughout North and South Carolina, includinging Greensboro, Hendersonville and Hickory. Call today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.