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How safe are North Carolina drivers?

North Carolina drivers are ranked second in the country in making abrupt turns, according to a recent report by the online insurance marketplace Everquote on driving habits and their role in car accidents. The report gave North Carolina an average rank 12.8 among all the states on unsafe driving habits.

Everquote drew its information from 2.7 million car trips over 230 million miles by motorists utilizing its Everdrive app. The app has smartphone components that detect speeding, cell phone use, sudden stops, turns and acceleration.

North Carolina was generally in the higher unsafe ranking category. Concerning phone use, the state was placed 15 in the country or 39.9 percent.

Its performance varied concerning other unsafe behaviors. On speeding, it placed 25 or 35.2 percent, while hard braking had it as high as fourth or 35.7 percent. Risky acceleration was 18 at 20.6 percent.

Local regional factors play a role in driving safety, according to the report. For examples, states that built roads after World War II pose more dangers to pedestrians because they were intended to be more convenient for drivers.

States in the South also have more suburban sprawl, which causes more commuting and driving. More time spent in the car commuting leads to distracted driving, because these drivers are more prone to talk on the phone, text message and groom themselves.

Abrupt turns, where North Carolina placed second, often indicates driver inattention and an abundance of rural roads in a state. Rural roads are more dangerous because there are usually two lanes with high speed limits.

Analyzing this information can help explain the significant rise in driving fatalities in this country in decades. Additionally, the Governor's Highway Safety Association reported an 11 percent rise in pedestrian deaths in 2016. This was partially to the increase in driving following the end of the economic recession and more distractions from motorists and pedestrians using cell phones.

However, other experts blame other causes other than a distracted driver. A spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety blames more teenager drivers who are among the riskiest class of motorists. More states are raising speed limits which increase the likelihood and severity of crashes.

Regardless of the risky or negligent behavior, a car accident victim may want to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. An attorney can assist with these endeavors.

Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts, Stateline, "Where are the most distracted drivers? Where are the safest?" Tim Henderson, April 13, 2017

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