Each year the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles publishes a report on traffic crashes. The most recent report covers 2018. In this post, we will look at some of the highlights from the 155-page report.
Number of reported crashes increased in 2018
As an overview:
- The number of crashes (281,685) increased 2.4 percent from 2017
- Fatalities increased 3.3 percent from 2017
- Persons injured decreased 2 percent from 2017
Speeding was involved in 21.6 percent of crashes.
For the last five years, Thanksgiving has been the deadliest holiday on North Carolina roads. Since 2014, there has been an average of 23 fatalities over Thanksgiving. There were 20 fatalities in 2018.
Those out-of-state drivers
Non-North Carolina drivers were involved in 6.9 percent of reported crashes.
Crashes by month
Over the last five years, these have been the most dangerous months for driving:
- November has had the most crashes, with an average of 24,347 accidents.
- December has had the second-most crashes
February averaged the fewest accidents.
The top contributing factors to crashes were (listed from highest to lowest):
- Failure to reduce speed
- Failure to yield right of way
- Improper lane change
- Operated vehicle in erratic, reckless, careless, negligent or aggressive manner
- Improper turn
- Crossed centerline/going wrong way
- Alcohol use
- Improper backing
Use of seat belts
In 2018, the age range for fatally injured occupants, the age range least likely to have been wearing a seat belt:
- 20-29, 66 percent wore seat belts
- 30-39, 66 percent
- 5-7, 67 percent
- 15-19, 67 percent
The age category that most often used a seat belt in a crash was 90 and above (91 percent)
Distracted driving by teens
In 2018, there was a decrease in the number of crashes involving teen drivers who were distracted. Here are the number of crashes caused by distracted-driving teens:
- 2013: 10,937
- 2014: 10,271
- 2015: 11,031
- 2016: 11,260
- 2017: 11,102
- 2018: 10,646
Note that distracted driving is self-reported.
Crashes by age
Can you guess which age group of drivers was involved in the most crashes in 2018? It wasn’t teenagers:
- Teens: 50,988
- 20-29: 109,749
- 30-39: 82,235
- 40-49: 69,846
- 50-59: 60,724
- 60-69: 42,275
- 70-79: 22,213
- 80-89: 7,055
- 90 and above: 807
Note that the number decreases with each age group after 20-29.
Crashes by type of vehicle
Unsurprisingly, passenger vehicles led the way in number of crashes involved in:
- Passenger car: 273,405
- SUV: 105,992
- Pickup: 66,315
- Van: 20,675
- Tractor/semi-trailer: 5,115
- Single-unit truck (two axles, six tires): 4,869
- Motorcycle: 3,566
- Tractor/trailer: 3,466
There were 1,230 crashes involving police vehicles.
What are the odds of surviving a crash if you are a pedestrian? Of all pedestrians involved in a crash in 2018, 9.7 percent were killed. A total of 225 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2018 – a 12.5 percent increase from 2017.