Government wish-list aims to reduce car accidents in South and North Carolina

The National Traffic Safety Board has again updated its “most wanted” list of driver and traffic safety improvements reviewing several topics of concern our Carolina car accident attorneys regularly address on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog.

Whether the issue is impaired driving, child restraint and seat belt usage or motorcycle safety, the NTSB knows that state governments and state law enforcement officials hold considerable power when it comes to executing Board safety recommendations.

“State governments are in a unique position to effect the most significant improvement in certain areas of transportation safety,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that in 2008, there were 8.8 million registered North Carolina drivers who logged more than 101 billion miles traveling on North Carolina roads. There were 214,226 reported North Carolina car accidents that left 112,348 injured and 1,448 dead. More than 9,700 accidents were alcohol related and claimed the lives of 227 drivers and passengers.

Data collected from the North Carolina “Click It or Ticket” initiative indicates that there is an 89.9 percent compliance rate for seat belt use among North Carolina motorists. With that said, 291 unrestrained children and more than 6,400 restrained child passengers aged 11 or younger were injured, seriously injured or killed in North Carolina car accidents in 2008.

Hersman noted that the Board’s “most wanted” list spotlights “states that have made noteworthy progress in better protecting the traveling public – and those that have not.” The NTSB recognizes the efforts of the North Carolina legislature and law enforcement in the following areas:

~ child occupant protection: NC requires all child passengers to buckle up. Specifically, state law requires all child occupants aged 8 or younger to be properly restrained in the appropriate safety device – from car seats (rear- and forward-facing) to booster seats.

~ primary seat belt enforcement: NC requires all vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt or other age appropriate restraint device. “Primary” enforcement means that law enforcement can stop – and ticket – vehicle occupants solely upon visual confirmation of an unrestrained driver or passenger.

~ motorcycle safety: NC requires both driver and passengers to wear appropriate protective head gear at all times. It is one of 13 states to enact a universal helmet law.

~ distracted driving: NC has enacted some of the strictest laws regarding distracted driving. The state Graduated Drivers License program, passenger restriction limits and fully restrictive wireless communication law each meet with Board recommendations and safety standards.

Asheville car accident lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious or fatal car accident, or losing a loved one to a fatal car crash, can be among the most trying times in your life. We hope that if you are involved in a serious car accident you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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