Car accidents rank as some of the most traumatic events for North Carolina residents. There’s good reason for that as accidents can leave people reeling from catastrophic injuries and the deaths of friends and family members. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the final statistics for fatal car accidents in 2021.
2021 was a deadly year for car accidents
Nearly 43,000 people tragically died in motor vehicle accidents in 2021, marking the most road fatalities in 16 years. These numbers also represent a 10.5% increase in traffic fatalities from the previous year.
Many fatal accidents involved multiple vehicles on various types of roadways. Deaths caused by speeding rose by around 8% while those from drunk driving increased by 14%. Meanwhile, another 8% of car accident fatalities occurred in people not wearing seatbelts.
The where, when and who of fatal car accidents
In 2021, fatal urban accidents increased by 14% and nearly 8% on rural roads. Fatal accidents between 6 PM and 5:59 AM increased by 11% compared with the previous year. Fatal crashes also occurred during the day between 6 AM and 5:59 PM, marking nearly a 10% increase from 2020.
While both men and women died in motor vehicle accidents in 2021, there was a 12% increase in female victims compared with males; the number of men killed in crashes increased by 9.2%.
The NHTSA also reported that distracted driving was a major factor in the increase in deadly traffic accidents. A spokesperson from the Administration pointed out that it only takes a moment to get distracted and get into a life-changing crash. Using do not disturb mode on your cell phone might prevent tragedies.
You can’t always avoid or predict car accidents. However, staying alert and using defensive driving are good ways to stay safer on the road.