Vehicle accidents occur regularly in and around the Charlotte area. In fact, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Metropolitan area sees a higher percentage of accident injuries and fatalities than anywhere else in the state. There are various causes of vehicle accidents around Charlotte, and these incidents are often caused by the careless or negligent actions of other drivers.
At Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C., our dedicated Charlotte motor vehicle accident attorneys have a track record of success in helping clients recover compensation in these situations. We offer free consultations, and our clients never have to worry about any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case.
Here, we want to discuss some of the most common causes of vehicle accidents in the Charlotte area. You will be familiar with most of these accident causes, but some of the statistics may surprise you.
Driving Under the Influence
When it comes to traffic-related deaths, driving under the influence is one of the worst offenders, with drunk driving accounting for nearly a third of fatalities in the state in 2019. Accidents involving drunk driving are particularly worrying in and around the Charlotte area. With a large population and plenty of tourists and residents, the potential for alcohol-infused situations is increased in this area of the state. Additionally, with recreational marijuana use on the rise, drivers show this substance appearing more in their systems as well.
Warning signs of drunk driving can include:
- Difficulty staying within lane lines
- Failure to signal or obey traffic signs
- Visible difficulty accelerating or braking
- Making unsafe maneuvers
In North Carolina, not only is it illegal to operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) measurement of more than 0.08%, you must also not appear visibly intoxicated. If the driver is operating a commercial vehicle, that rate is cut down to 0.04%. Repeat drunk driving offenders may have their cars seized at the arrest site, and even given to North Carolina’s school system. Penalties can include fines and imprisonment as well.
As one of the main causes of accidents throughout the United States, sleep-deprived driving affects approximately 250,000 drivers every day. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 crashes and 40,000 injuries annually are due to people falling asleep at the wheel, even if just for a second.
Sleep deprivation affects driving ability in several different ways. It slows reaction time, impairs judgment, and affects coordination. Much like the consumption of alcohol, fatigue can affect vision, information processing, and performance.
- The warning signs of driver fatigue include:
- Feeling sleepy, groggy, or exhausted
- Difficulty keeping eyes open
- Excessive yawning
- Slow reaction time
- Driving over the centerline or off to the shoulder
Driving while fatigued is especially dangerous when it involves commercial truck drivers. Given the size and weight of these vehicles, the potential for injury is greatly increased. Nearly a quarter of all passenger vehicle traffic fatalities involve collisions with trucks.
When people drive without watching what is happening on the road, they are distracted. This can be caused by eating, reaching into the backseat, talking with a passenger, or even adjusting the radio. In recent years, a more common threat to road safety has become cell phone use. When drivers use their phones, whether for calling or texting, accident rates skyrocket as a result. In 2019 alone, there were more than 53,000 total crashes attributed to distracted driving in this state, according to data available from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Warning signs of distracted driving can include:
- Illumination within a car, such as the light from a cell phone screen
- Smoking, or lighting a cigarette
- Eating or drinking within a car
- Veering off the road and swerving to correct
In North Carolina, it is illegal to text while driving. For drivers under 18, as well as commercial drivers, no cell phone use is permitted whatsoever.
Data available from the North Carolina DOT shows us that there were more than 15,000 total vehicle collisions caused by speeding across the state during the latest reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were 8,550 injuries and 377 fatalities. Speed-related factors were responsible for more than 25% of all fatalities in the state during the latest year of data we have on record.
Drivers must abide by the speed limits in and around the Charlotte area. However, drivers can still be going too fast for conditions even if they are not operating at the posted speed limit. If the roads are slick or icy or if traffic is particularly bad, drivers must adjust their speed accordingly.
Reach out to a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Today
Have you been involved in an accident? Call the Charlotte motor vehicle accident attorneys at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 704-850-6322. We take these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients will not have to pay any legal fees until after they have received the compensation they are entitled to.