As technology grows more commonplace in everyday lives, it is easy to see the positive and negative impacts that it potentially carries with it. For example, technology promotes better safety mechanics and tools to keep drivers safe while on the road.
At the same time, electronic devices like smartphones present a huge hurdle in combating distracted driving, and the numbers, unfortunately, reflect the negative impact it has.
Traffic fatality statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looks into why traffic fatalities have risen lately. North Carolina saw an increase of 25 vehicular fatalities between 2017 and 2018, with 1,412 deaths in 2017 and 1,437 deaths in 2018. This is a bigger increase than the last largest leap seen, between 2014 and 2015. In the five years of 2014 to 2018, only 2016 held a higher rate of fatalities with 1,450 deaths.
In 2018, drunk driving contributed to 421 deaths across the state, which increased by 20 since 2017. Pedestrian and motorcycle deaths also increased, with 198 pedestrians and 176 bikers dying in 2017 compared to 225 pedestrians and 191 bikers dying in 2018. Even commercial truck involvement in fatalities rose, with 177 cases of involvement compared to 165 from the year before.
Speculation on the rise in crashes
Speculation regarding the increase in these numbers often goes back to technological interference, i.e. the use of handheld devices while driving contributing to distraction. Reckless driving and destructive driving behaviors may also directly tie to the decrease in traffic, as drivers mistakenly feel safer in the thought that they will not end up hitting anyone else because fewer people are around to hit.
Needless to say, the numbers show how untrue this is, and should prompt for immediate addressing of this growing problem and the victims it creates.