Can Fatal Highway Vehicle Accidents Be Prevented?

According to national statistics, over 37,000 people died in car accidents in one year and more than two million victims were seriously injured. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has identified the top causes of highway crashes, as well as recommendations on how to prevent these events.

DUI Accidents

The leading cause of car accidents is drivers who are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. In one year, more than 30 percent of all fatal crashes involved a driver who had alcohol in their system. Currently, the standard legal limit for alcohol in all states is 0.08 percent, but the NTSB would like to see that lowered to 0.05 percent.

In one year, there are more than 10,000 deaths in vehicle crashes involving drivers with BACs of .08 percent or higher. That’s almost 30 percent of all traffic fatalities each year.

And even more tragic is that more than 1,000 children are killed each year in traffic accidents involving an impaired driver.


Speeding is also a major cause of vehicle crashes. Injuries in these car accidents are also more severe than in other types of crashes. Speeding is typically defined as exceeding a speed limit, but it can also mean driving at the speed limit but too fast for road conditions. Between 2010 and 2019, speeding-related crashes resulted in 108,300 fatalities—that’s about one-fourth of all traffic fatalities in the United States.

Some of the factors that the NTSB address in fatal crashes caused by speeding includes:

  • Speeding when weather and road conditions are wet increases the risk of fatal crashes because the required stopping distance is longer than a driver’s line of sight.
  • Speeding by large trucks and buses increases the risk of crashes because of these vehicles required a greater distance and time for stopping than passenger vehicles.

Other Factors

  • Distracted drivers who are speeding often fail to notice that traffic has slowed down or come to a stop until it’s too late.
  • Fatigued driving accidents are steadily increasing, especially among commercial truck drivers. In particular, many of these drivers suffer from undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea. Another factor that contributes to these types of crashes is the almost impossible schedules that trucking companies place on their drivers, forcing truck drivers to drive more than is allowed under federal and state regulations.

Contact Our Office Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury as a result of another driver’s negligent or reckless actions, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. Our firm has aggressively advocated for victims and their families for more than three decades and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

It is critical to remember that North Carolina has placed a statute of limitation for how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for your or your loved one’s injuries. Contact our office today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated Carolinas accident attorneys.