Authorities are blaming a rash of serious car accidents in North Carolina on careless and aggressive drivers who blatantly disregarded their own safety, as well as that of others.
Our North Carolina car accident lawyers are dismayed that we continue to see entirely preventable injuries and deaths caused because someone was simply in a hurry or not exercising proper precaution. Almost as upsetting as the tragic aftermath of these crashes is that they didn’t have to happen.
In the first case, two women, ages 62 and 74, were killed on U.S. 41 after they were struck head-on by a tractor trailer log truck in Pender County around 3 p.m. A third person in the vehicle was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, while the truck driver was treated for minor injuries. The crash, which left the small car in a heap of mangled metal, tied up traffic for hours in both directions along the interstate. Driver distraction is believed to have been a factor.
In the second case, five people were hurt – one of those seriously – when two vehicles collided along N.C. 150 in Salisbury. Investigators said early indications were that the roads were slick with recent rain, and the vehicles were both traveling far too fast around a bend. Residents in the area say wrecks along that stretch are a common occurrence, with vehicles routinely ramming into fences, trees and mailboxes there.
In a third incident, two vehicles crashed on Highway 17 in Hamptstead earlier this month when one vehicle ran a red light and smashed into a vehicle that was making a turn at that intersection. Both drivers thankfully only suffered minor injuries, but the vehicles were both heavily damaged. The driver who ran the light was ticketed.
If we were somehow able to eliminate these kinds of very preventable behaviors behind the wheel, we would be able to significantly reduce the number of annual casualties on our roadways.
Let’s take speeding, for example. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that it is a factor in a third of all fatal motor vehicle crashes, and its the third leading contributing factor to fatalities. Other fatal crash factors such as impaired driving and not buckling up have been significantly reduced. Not speeding. It claims some 13,000 lives each year, with economic costs totaling some $40 billion yearly. In fact, the NHTSA purports that every minute a driver “gains” by speeding actually costs society an estimated $76,000.
It’s not only driving over the speed limit, but often driving too fast for the conditions of the road. So if it’s rainy or snowy or foggy – slow down!
Speeding is also considered a form of aggressive driving, which could also be manifested through: tailgating, frequent lane changes and running red lights. Some of this, too, could be attributed to distractions.
In order to curb these tragic end results, the NHTSA recommends the following when behind the wheel:
- Concentrate and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by texting, talking, eating, drinking or putting on makeup.
- Relax. Try putting on some low-key music or taking a few deep breaths.
- Map out alternate routes in case the one you are on is congested. Give yourself plenty of time so you won’t feel pressured to speed.
- Just be late. It’s better than never making it there at all.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Five injured in N.C. 150 wreck, Jan. 30, 2013, By Mark Wineka, Salsbury Post
Two dead in car crash in Eastern NC, Jan. 22, 2013, Associated Press
Two-car crash on Hwy. 17 slows traffic, Feb. 8, 2013, By Bailey Hicks, WECT, Channel 6
More Blog Entries:
Carolina Railroad Crossing Accidents a Common Risk for Motorists, Feb. 19, 2013, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog