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North Carolina among worst-driving states, according to list

No matter how you spin it, getting behind the wheel is dangerous business. Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, making it of the utmost importance for drivers to exercise extreme caution on the road.

Dangerous roads are, no doubt, a nation-wide concern. But it may be an even bigger concern here in North Carolina -- the state ranked seventh in a recent list compiled to show the worst driving states in the U.S.

Collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the data consisted of records of citations for breaking traffic signal and seatbelt laws, speeding, DUIs and seatbelt laws, along with metrics showing fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled. Among the shocking statistics was one presented by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which showed that there were 402 drunk-driving deaths in North Carolina in 2012.

Because of the ubiquity of car accidents in North Carolina, it is vital for drivers to know their legal rights. Some may not be aware, for instance, that in certain cases victims may be owed compensation if the other driver involved displayed negligence. Negligence encompasses a variety of actions, including distracted driving, speeding and disobeying traffic signals. Proving negligence often means presenting evidence -- such as eyewitness reports, driver logs or breathalyzer test results -- and using this evidence to build a case showing that the driver failed to exercise due caution.

Compensation in these cases often takes the form of monetary awards for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs resulting from damages. This compensation can give victims a shot at a fair recovery, freeing them from some of the financial strain forced upon them by the accident.

Source: Triangle Business Journal, "North Carolina ranks among top 10 worst-driving states," Dawn Kurry, Dec. 16, 2013

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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