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Main Causes of Car Accidents in Wilmington, NC

— June 1, 2022

One in four traffic fatalities was caused by alcohol consumption.

Wilmington, NC – In 2020, there were 247,214 car accidents in North Carolina. According to the NC Department of Transportation, this represents a 9% decrease from 2019, but this is where the good news ends. Despite the lower number of crashes, fatalities rose by almost 13% to 1,658. Also, over 105,000 people were injured in car accidents. Unfortunately, most crashes occur in and around major cities, such as Wilmington, which see considerably more traffic than rural areas.

One of the main questions victims have is whether they need a lawyer. In most states, the answer depends on the severity of your injuries, but in a city like Wilmington, it’s best to get an experienced car accident lawyer anyway. Just to be sure. That is because North Carolina uses the contributory negligence rule and this means you may lose your right to collect damages if you are found even 1% to blame for the crash.

What are the main causes of car accidents in North Carolina?

Here’s what the official statistics have to say about the main causes of car accidents in North Carolina:

Distracted driving

Distracted driving was a factor in 44.128 crashes. At the same time, distracted driving accounted for 17.6% of all accidents with injuries. The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any non-driving activity a person engages in while operating a motor vehicle. This includes using your mobile phone for texting, messaging, and taking selfies, but also such activities as adjusting the radio, setting your navigation, applying makeup, eating, or drinking. Keep this in mind and watch what you say after an accident. If it turns out you were fiddling with the radio at the time of the crash, you risk losing the right to recover damages even if you were hit by a drunk driver going at 100mph. It’s not fair, but this is the law in North Carolina. If there’s any such thing that could be used against you, talk to some seasoned North Carolina accident lawyers before calling the insurance company.


Speed was a factor in 18,340 car accidents. Once again, remember that the insurance adjuster will be looking at the speed of both cars. If you were just a few miles over the speed limit this makes you partially responsible for the crash and you don’t get damages.

Drunk driving

One in four traffic fatalities was caused by alcohol consumption. 159 people were killed in an accident caused by a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than .15%, which is almost double the legal limit. Under North Carolina law, a BAC over .15% is considered an aggravating factor, and you are entitled to get punitive damages.

cocktail drinks
cocktail drinks; image courtesy of bridgesward via Pixabay,

Skilled North Carolina accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. Your lawyers will look at the other driver’s record as previous DWI offenses are also considered aggravating factors. In most cases, punitive damages are capped at three times the value of the compensatory damages awarded. However, in drunk driving accidents, there is no such cap. Given the dangers drunk driving involves, North Carolina law considers aggravated cases of driving while impaired (DWI) to require special consideration and special punishment.

Attorneys Near Me

If you’re looking for an accident lawyer or need professional help with other legal matters, you may be wondering “Where can I find Attorneys Near Me?” Don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link to go to the extensive database on Select the legal area you’re interested in, your state and your city, and schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy lawyer in your area. 

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