In the last few years in North Carolina, people’s lives have changed dramatically due to ongoing national concerns. Working from home, losing jobs outright, needing to adapt to the changed landscape personally and professionally – all have been challenges that people were forced to address.
When heading out, there have also been unexpected changes to how people behave on the road. This is putting drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians in danger. Considering the problems people can face after they have been hurt in an auto accident, it is important to think about ways to avoid them. Unfortunately, in many instances, they cannot be avoided and navigating the litany of issues they will face may require assistance.
North Carolina authorities look to enhance safety
In 2021, North Carolina had a worrying number of serious auto accidents. High Point had 2,150 accidents with 10 fatalities; Winston-Salem had 9,261 accidents and 29 deaths; and Greensboro had 9,312 accidents and 57 deaths. Accidents were so prevalent that the director of the state’s Governor’s Highway safety program is pushing for action. One idea is for there to be a “Vision Zero Community” to put various safeguards in place. That can include placing speed bumps or roads where drivers are known to speed. It will also analyze intersections where accidents are common and change the way in which many roads are designed. Drivers exceeding the speed limit, getting behind the wheel while under the influence and distraction were known factors.
Researchers lament rising dangers and try to find answers
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the 2021 numbers for fatal auto accidents and found there was a spike of more than 10% when compared to 2020. Overall, more than 43,000 people lost their lives. There has never been such a massive percentage increase in road deaths. Breaking down the numbers, there were 16% increases in crashes involving more than one vehicle, as well as in urban road fatalities. Older people were increasingly vulnerable with a 14% rise in fatalities for people 65 and up; and 13% more pedestrians lost their lives.
Researchers offered several possible explanations, including the increasing size of vehicles; drivers speeding; a paucity of sidewalks and crosswalks; the lack of traffic signals; and infrastructure not being conducive to safety. The recent health challenges were also believed to contribute since drivers were free to go beyond the speed limit and break the law due to emptier roadways and lax law enforcement.
The impact of auto accidents can be long-lasting; help may be needed
A hard-working person who is out on the road could have their lives radically changed or lose their lives entirely in an instant. This can happen to anyone without warning. Having professional help is crucial, but it is especially vital to find caring guidance that thinks about a person’s needs first and foremost. That goes beyond the financial component and focuses on how to help a person who is dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident. The medical costs, lost wages and long-term concerns will be of primary importance to a family and having representation that understands that can be a crucial part of a full recovery in every aspect.