In 2012, the North Carolina Department of Transportation says the number of highway deaths increased, but are still lower than pre-recession years.  The NCDOT says 1,224 people were killed as the result of automobile accidents last year.

When you look at the bigger picture in the past 10 years the numbers are actually down from a high in 2007 of 1,702 facilities.  This is surprising because there is a growth in population and number of vehicles on the road.

Arthur Goodwin, senior research associate at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center in Chapel Hill, believes that the decline can be attributed to two main factors.  “First, fatalities tend to ebb and flow according to the state of the economy.  As the economy improves, people drive more, work more,” Goodwin said, “leading to more fatalities on the roads.”

Goodwin also cites improved safety measures as a big factor in the decline of automobile deaths. Features such as anti-lock brakes and air bags help, but researchers say a bigger factor is the increased use of seat belts.

Campbell & Associates feels that the State’s Click It or Ticket campaign, which increased enforcement of the state’s seat-belt laws, has helped keep the number of deaths down.   Our hope is the trend of wearing seat belts continues to increase and the number of driving related deaths decreases.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident, consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you review your situation and pursue any appropriate claims for damages.