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Study ranks 15 worst states for teen drinking and driving

Underage drinking is an issue in North Carolina and across the U.S., but every state differs as to the exact frequency of teens drinking. It should be noted that drunk driving, regardless of the driver's age, is the cause of at least one third of all driving fatalities in this country. Of the 37,133 road accidents reported in 2017, 10,874 involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

Death toll from drunk driving remains high despite enforcement

North Carolina law prohibits people from operating motor vehicles when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above. Strong law enforcement efforts since the 1980s have reduced the number of drunk driving accidents, but they remain a leading source of traffic fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk drivers contribute to roughly one-third of all fatal traffic crashes.

Studies show drowsy driving is similar to impaired driving

Most drivers in North Carolina and across the country would never drink and drive, but around half consistently drive while feeling drowsy, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation. The study demonstrates how dire the nation's drowsy driving problem is.

Phones, food, fatigue and other driver distractions

Drivers in North Carolina and across the U.S. are encountering more and more distractions on the road. Smartphones and navigation systems are just the newest in a line of possible distractions. In fact, everyday activities like eating and talking can pose a danger to drivers as well.

4th of July Roadway Safety in Asheville

Law enforcement agencies and safety advocates are reminding motorists to stay safe behind the wheel this holiday weekend. Along with barbeques and family get-togethers, the 4th of July is also known for having an increase in injury causing and fatal car crashes, especially due to drinking and driving. On the Independence Day holiday weekend last year, 601 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those fatalities, 39 percent happened in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.

NHTSA projects fewer traffic deaths but more risk for pedestrians

A preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offered slightly good news about traffic fatalities in North Carolina and nationwide. Deaths on U.S. roads in 2018 appear to have dropped by about 1% compared to the previous year. The agency, however, reported that pedestrian deaths went up by 4% in 2018. Bicyclists fared badly in the same year with a 10% increase in fatalities according to preliminary data.

Roundabouts in rural areas save lives

According to data gathered by the United States Department of Transportation, roundabouts result in less fatalities and serious injuries at rural intersections. At one particular location in North Carolina where a pregnant woman died in 2011, DOT replaced stop signs with a roundabout in order to improve safety. While this type of traffic control does not decrease the amount of overall accidents, it does reduce their severity significantly.

Holiday Weekend Travelers Increase Traffic

How to reduce the risk of getting into a car crash

Summer is fast approaching, which means that more motorists will soon be on roads in North Carolina. Unfortunately, this can increase the chances of getting in a car accident. In fact, car wrecks are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 2 and 34 years old. By following certain safety tips, however, drivers can help prevent crashes and safely arrive at their destinations.

Drivers continue to text, email behind the wheel

Many people in North Carolina are fully aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Increased law enforcement activity and public awareness campaigns have highlighted the fact that thousands of serious or even deadly car accidents are caused every year by people whose minds are not on the road in front of them. Distracted driving has emerged as a major hazard since smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous. When roads are slow, traffic is heavy or red lights are long, people may be tempted to reach over to their mobile devices for interaction or entertainment.

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