Study finds North Carolina drivers among nation’s worst

February 7, 2014

Nowadays, when you are driving down a road, it is common to see drivers engaging in all sorts of bad habits, from texting while driving to running red lights. Upon witnessing such dangerous driving behaviors, you may have wondered aloud whether your state has the worst drivers. Unfortunately, North Carolina drivers can claim that they regularly encounter some of the worst drivers in the country, according to the results of a recent study.

The study was recently released by During the study, researchers gathered data from several sources such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Researchers focused on five key statistical areas for each state:

  • Car accident fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled
  • Drunk driving accident rate
  • Overall number of traffic tickets issued
  • Number of failure to obey violations (e.g. seatbelt laws)
  • Careless driving violations (i.e. violations of texting while driving laws)

Based on the data, each state was assigned a ranking for each area and was ranked against other states, based on the average performance across all the areas.

North Carolina drivers can breathe a sigh of relief, because they were not ranked as the worst in the country. However, North Carolina ranked within the top 10 states with the worst drivers, tying with Missouri as the seventh worst.

According to the study's data, North Carolina drivers rated average or above average for driver fatality rates, drunk driving rates and failure to obey violations. However, the state placed in the top 10 for careless driving and overall ticketing rates, which tipped the balance.

When the data in the study was analyzed for each state, it was found that if a state had a low rate of careless drivers, the state tended to also score well in the other categories. As a result, the study's authors concluded that eliminating distractions such as cellphones while in the driver's seat is key in improving overall safety

Consult an attorney

To help protect drivers from distractions, the legislature has made it illegal to send, read or compose a text message while operating a motor vehicle in North Carolina. Unfortunately, as the study demonstrated, there are many drivers that flout the law. Drivers who injure someone else while violating the law can face a civil lawsuit for negligence in addition to a ticket. Under the law, injured drivers are entitled to seek damages for medical bills, loss of wages and other expenses resulting from the accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an inattentive or careless driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can ensure that you receive adequate and fair compensation from the responsible party.

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