In 2009, approximately 1,314 people were killed in car accident deaths in North Carolina (NC). This was a decrease from 1,423 car wreck deaths in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It’s good to know less people are dying in car crashes in and around NC, but over 1,300 lives lost is still far too many. Imagine being a loved one who lost their mother, father, wife, husband, or other significant individual in a car accident. Suddenly, the drop in car crash deaths is not something to celebrate.

We interact with people on a daily basis who have had their lives changed forever after a car accident. Some have lost a loved one, others have been seriously injured. Speaking of injuries, over two million people were injured in car wrecks last year nationwide, according to NHTSA.

What’s so frustrating is that many of these car crashes are preventable. They involve at-fault drivers who were drunk, distracted while texting and driving, or fell asleep while behind the wheel.

Let these statistics be a reminder of the responsibility all of us have in being responsible, vigilant drivers. The drop in car accident death statistics is a positive step forward, but we still have a long way to go.