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A look at the numbers: World wars versus motor vehicle crashes

Because North Carolina has a military tradition second to none, we know that many of our Raleigh Personal Injury Law Blog readers are well-versed in both military and U.S. history. It might come as a surprise to some to learn that more people have been killed in car crashes in the U.S. since 2000 than American military personnel died in both World Wars.

While that stat might surprise, there is nothing astonishing in the harsh truth that most of those deadly crashes were caused by three main types of drivers: speeding, drunk or distracted.

The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board wonders if Americans have become numb to the carnage on our streets and highways. “Where’s the social outrage?” Robert L. Sumwalt asks. “There should be social outrage.”

The numbers break down like so:

  • More than 624,000 died in motor vehicle crashes since January 2000
  • Approximately 535,000 American military personnel died in World War I and World War II

The numbers in the fatal crashes from 2000 to 2017 break down like this:

  • About 213,000 people died in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver
  • About 197,000 died in wrecks involving excess speed
  • About 78,000 were killed in crashes caused by a distracted driver

“While most recognize the dangers created by taking your eyes off the road, they engage in distracting behaviors anyway, creating a ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ culture on the roadway,” said the AAA director of traffic safety advocacy.

Experts say distracted driving is becoming more of a danger, with nearly half a million drivers using their phones while they’re driving during daylight hours.

We can’t stop distractions, drunk drivers or speeding, but our skilled attorneys do help Raleigh injury victims fight for compensation in personal injury litigation.

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