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Why Are More Bikers Dying? 4 Main Reasons. And 4 Things You Can Do.

I love riding my motorcycle. Been riding for years. My dad had an old, ugly green Honda CB when I was a kid. My uncle airbrushed Harleys. Another uncle used to take me out jumping giant mounds of dirt on my grandfather's tobacco farm down east. I was enthralled at a young age and got my first dirt bike, a Yamaha Mini Enduro, when I was only six years old. I got my first road bike as soon as I turned 16.

mj-bike-1My current bike, shown here, is an 1800cc beast of a machine.

When my wife announced she wanted to start riding together (on a motorcycle of her own), I was a bit surprised - but definitely up for it.

She, as usual, did the smart thing and enrolled both of us in a motorcycle safety class.

While I have always tried to be careful and prudent while enjoying the freedom of the open road, I had not taken a motorcycle safety course in many years. I am thankful my wife gave me a reason to. What I learned was that the roads today are a far cry from when I first started riding more than 30 years ago. The recent accident and death rates are alarming - particularly for "older" riders. So much so, that I felt compelled to do some additional research of my own. I'd like to share reasons I found behind the rise in motorcycle fatalities, and offer ways each of us can try to keep motorcycle safety in mind.

By the way, even if you do not own a motorcycle, you should be aware of some of the ways you may be unintentionally contributing to an unsafe environment for motorcyclists.

Increase in North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Fatalities

I was surprised to learn that a primary reason for the rising death toll in all motor vehicle accidents both in North Carolina and nationwide is due to an increase in motorcycle fatalities. Motorcyclist deaths in 2015 accounted for 13% of all vehicle fatalities in North Carolina, and were the highest in seven years both nationwide and in our state.

It got me to thinking. Why the uptick? What has changed? And more importantly, how can each of us help keep motorcyclists - and each other - safer on North Carolina's roadways?

4 Likely Reasons for Increased Motorcycle Fatalities

  1. Nationally, fewer riders are wearing helmets. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declares that having universal helmet laws is the single most effective way for states to save the lives of motorcyclists. In North Carolina about 80 lives are saved for each 100,000 licensed motorcycle drivers, according to an article in North Carolina Health News. Helmets are about 37% effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries, reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the 1970s, all but three states mandated helmets. Yet lobbying efforts by rider groups and "personal freedom" advocates slowly etched away at those mandates. By 2012, only 19 states still had mandatory helmet laws. North Carolina is one of them.
    Look, I get that most of us are on the road in part for the feeling of freedom that riding offers. But there are certain basics that increase safety. Airbags, seatbelts, staying sober, and using helmets all contribute to saving lives. I enjoy my freedom, and I encourage you to enjoy responsibly.
  2. Reduced gas prices means there are more cars and trucks crowding the roadways. Cars and trucks are larger and heavier than motorcycles. Common sense and the laws of physics dictate the motorcyclist is on the losing end in the event of a crash. The fatality rate for motorcycle riders is 26 times the rate of death for people in cars. This is partly because a motorcycle doesn't provide the protection that a car would, such as seat belts, air bags, and a cage of metal armor.
  3. There is an alarming rise in distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, 26% of car accidents are caused by cell phone use. In North Carolina more than 22% of accidents resulted from distracted driving. Distracted driving is not limited to texting while driving. It includes anything that distracts you from paying attention to the road.
  4. Alcohol and drug use has also been a factor in motorcyclist fatalities. This, sadly, is what the Governors Highway Safety Association reports. And more often than not, it was the biker who was drinking. Don't be that biker.

4 Tips to Try to Keep Motorcyclists Safer - and Others Too

North Carolina offers so many scenic roadways, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is the longest scenic roadway in America. And don't forget The Dragon, which attracts riders from all over the country. Many motorcyclists believe this drive is best experienced from a motorcycle. But safely. Here are some ways to maximize safety, whether you're on a motorcycle or in a vehicle.

  1. Alcohol and drugs have no business being a part of any road trip - no matter what you are driving.
  2. Pay attention to the road. Especially when motorcycles are nearby. Look in both side mirrors if you hear a motorcycle. Be diligent. You are driving at least a two-ton vehicle. If you're a motorcyclist, don't serpentine between cars at the speed of light on the interstate. Many drivers will not being paying attention to their surroundings - and that includes you.
  3. If you're a motorcyclist wear protective clothing and gear - the brighter the better. You want drivers to see you. As much as I believe in helmets, I also strongly believe in hi-viz. Only once do I recall getting a call from an injured motorcyclist who was wearing hi-viz clothing. I personally always wear a hi-viz helmet and jacket and follow the ATGATT rule: All The Gear, All The Time. You will always find me riding in boots, heavy-duty pants, leather or armored jacket, gloves, and a full-face helmet. And you'll see me coming from a mile away.
  4. Helmet laws are mandatory in North Carolina. Wear them. We have represented too many motorcycle crash victims who did not obey this law. Some lived, some did not. Others' lives were forever changed.

FREE Evaluation From Our North Carolina Motorcycle Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call a fellow biker. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation or call 1-866-900-7078.

How Does Mediation Work?

When injured in an accident that isn't your fault, it's probably safe to assume that you, like most people, simply want to be paid what's fair. While obtaining fair payment may seem like a simple and straightforward process, it can quickly become complicated and confusing.

When negotiations with the insurance adjuster fail, then options exist to try to ensure that your compensation is fair and just. From offer to counteroffer, court filings, mediations, to trial, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has experienced professionals on staff to counsel you at all levels of civil litigation - including mediation.

Will My Case Require Me to Go to Mediation?

Mediation is not the same thing as settlement negotiations, which occur at the beginning of your case, and mediation is only undertaken after settlement negotiations fail and you file a lawsuit. After settlement negotiations fail, you would begin your lawsuit by filing your case in civil court.

Whether or not you proceed to mediation depends on whether you file in superior court or district court. For the purposes of this blog, the primary difference between superior court and district court is the amount of money you seek in your lawsuit.

If your case involves more than $25,000, you must file it in superior court, and mediation is required. Superior court rarely allows you to skip mediation and go straight to trial.

If your damages are $25,000 or less, then you must file in district court where mediation is not required.

What Happens in Mediation?

Let's say you are headed to mediation. Here's what it might look like.

Mediation takes place outside the court, typically at an office. There is no judge. No facts will be decided. The point of mediation is to reach a settlement. The people who attend mediation are:

  • The plaintiff (that's you - the person filing a claim for damages). You must attend mediation, because you have final settlement authority. In other words, you are the only one who can determine if the terms the other party is offering are acceptable, and thereby end the mediation.
  • Your attorney, who will negotiate on your behalf
  • The attorney from the defendant's insurance company
  • The mediator, who is a neutral third party

The defendant doesn't necessarily need to attend. Your lawyer has the option of excusing him or her.

Mediation vs. Trial

Mediation may potentially benefit you by eliminating the costs of going to court. For example, you will likely not have to pay an expert witness (such as an accident reconstructionist) to testify on your behalf. Moreover, going to court involves additional costs that can chip away at the final dollar amount you may receive.

Headed to Mediation?

The best advice when headed to mediation is to arm yourself with an experienced legal team who has researched your case, talked with you about the value of your case, and knows what your case may really be worth.

Combined, our attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin have handled countless mediations. We can prepare you for mediation, attend mediation with you, counsel you on the reasonableness of the defendant's offers and counteroffers, and advise whether to accept your settlement or proceed to trial.

If you've been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, call us 24/7 at 1-866-900-7078 or click here for a free case evaluation.

What to Do After an Accident (4 Easy Steps)

Woman hurt neck in car accidentYou've been in an accident.

What should you do next?

Accidents often have short-term effects (ex. missing work) and long-term effects (ex. ongoing medical care). If the accident wasn't your fault, an insurance company should compensate you for these consequences, but you need to take steps to protect your rights.

Below are 4 steps that may help, but click here if you want to contact a NC car accident lawyer right now, or call us at 1-866-900-7078. Your initial case evaluation is free.

 
Medical17_072320141)      Medical Care - Be Thorough With Your Doctor
It's natural to feel scared after an accident - especially if you've experienced serious bodily damage. While it may be difficult to focus on the minor injuries, reporting every scratch, cut, and ache to your doctor will make sure every injury is documented and help ensure that your rights are protected.

Warning: Not reporting an injury right away could lead to serious complications in your case.

For example: let's say you have a broken leg and a sore shoulder after an accident. You know that soreness after an accident is somewhat normal, so you don't mention the shoulder to your doctor. However, weeks later, it's just getting worse. You find out it's a torn rotator cuff and you need surgery.

But when you send the surgery bill to your insurance company, they balk. Since you didn't report the injury right away, they argue that it wasn't a result of the accident and say that they won't pay it. (If this happens, please contact a NC car crash attorney right away).

Reporting every injury you see or feel is essential to try to make sure that you do not end up paying the price for someone else's negligence.

It is also important to get consistent treatment for all of your injuries until they are fully healed. Frequent visits allow the doctor and insurance company to have a detailed history of your resulting medical problems and expenses.
 
2) Collect and Save Evidence From Day One
After years of experience, we can say that you never know what shred of evidence can end up supporting your claim.

Photos, clothing, paper, and other seemingly mundane materials could be important to building your case. The best rule is to just keep everything.  If in doubt, ask your attorney.

For example: one of the most important pieces of evidence could be the clothes you wore on the day of the accident - particularly if you were bleeding or thrown from the vehicle. Therefore, it is important to keep them and not to wash them in order to preserve their integrity.

Keep a record of all medical appointments, examination records, bills, and pictures of injuries. Be meticulous about how you manage all this material. With respect to your car, have someone take and keep pictures of vehicle damage, any other property damage, skid marks, and/or street signs. Keep witnesses' names and telephone numbers. Record the weather on the day of the accident. All of this information could eventually play an important role in building your case.

As soon as you're able, write down everything you can remember about what happened - or dictate the details to a loved one. Thorough documentation is incredibly important!
 
3) Keep an Accident Journal
One of the best ways to keep a record of everything is to start an accident journal. These journals can contain whatever information you find relevant, but most importantly they become a personal timeline of your experience that you can share with your attorney to help build a stronger case. Additionally, since these cases can sometimes last for years, starting a journal immediately means you will have something to look back on to refresh your recollection of how you were feeling shortly after the accident, when you are questioned about it.

What to include in your accident journal:

  • Name/contact information of anyone you speak to regarding your case (police officers, insurance adjustors, doctors, etc.)
  • When you spoke to them
  • Notes of your conversations and anything you think could be relevant

 
Paperwork3_07312014Bonus tip #1 (speaking with your insurance agent): Although we strongly recommend you speak with an attorney before talking with an insurance agent, if you find yourself in a position where you have to speak with them, this video may help you prepare.
 
4) Get a Professional Opinion - At No Cost
We've been doing this for many years. We've seen how insurance companies might seem sweet and accommodating up front, but as the bills add up, they may not be as accommodating as they were in the beginning. You should know:

It is very likely that an insurance company - whether the at-fault driver's or your own - may offer to pay you far less than what you may deserve for your injuries and damages. Don't sign anything or agree to a settlement without an attorney on your side reviewing the offer to ensure you aren't losing rights, compensation or benefits.

Many personal injury attorneys will review your claim for free.

Bonus tip #2 (hiring an attorney): If you think you may want an attorney, hire one early. If they work on contingency, it won't cost you any more than it would if you waited and they can help keep you from making inadvertent mistakes that may hurt your case.

Secondly, when you choose an attorney, we recommend you find one who has successfully represented people in car crashes like yours in court - just in case you need to take your case that far, and so the insurance company knows they're willing to go there.

If you want the opinion or advice of an experienced NC car accident lawyer, please call us at 1-866-900-7078.  We'll try to answer any questions you have, and there is no obligation to hire us afterward.

25 Things to Do After You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident

Simulated Accident_07182014A lot is at stake after an accident. As such, there's a lot to do if you want to protect yourself. We've put together a quick list to get you started, but it is by no means comprehensive.

A NC car accident attorney may be able to help with many of these items.

  1. Gather information from multiple sources - names, numbers, statements, records of everyone on the scene, especially driver, police officers, witnesses, EMT personnel, if you can. Get the other driver's insurance information.
  2. Deal with the insurance adjuster, who will ask questions about the accident and your injuries. He/she may insist on a statement. Make sure you know what to say and what not to say
  3. Get medical attention for any injuries and symptoms. Go to all appointments. Follow doctors' orders.
  4. Figure out who is paying for your treatment, or will be expected to.
  5. Be aware of liens the hospital/medical provider may immediately ask you to sign if you don't have health insurance.
  6. Obtain, keep track of all medical records - diagnoses, tests, bills - physicians, hospitals, clinics, ER and EMT.
  7. Use your health insurance for all its coverages. Handle all those details carefully and promptly. Keep all records.
  8. Take photos of the scene right at the time of accident and after. Take photos of all vehicles involved, especially your own, while they are at the scene. Photograph skid marks.
  9. Obtain the police report.
  10. Find out all the details of your auto insurance policies. Everything. Read the policy's "summary booklet."
  11. Find out all the details of the at-fault driver's insurance policy.
  12. Determine if uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is going to be a factor
  13. Research whether you can utilize another family/household member's policy.
  14. If you have to take time off from work due to injury - or you lose your job, keep track of all records and lost wages dealing with employment that are given to you or sent by employer. Handle any possible appeals of the employer's decision to terminate.
  15. Save all evidence in and around your car at the scene...pieces of your car or theirs.
  16. Check to see if MedPay is available.
  17. Document & copy all reimbursements received from insurance company for any expense.
  18. Where is your car? Who's paying for storage? Would your collision coverage pay for that after it leaves a tow lot?
  19. Keep a journal - on everything insurance company, doctors, police officers, witnesses say. Track your healing progress (including how you are feeling) or lack of progress in writing and in periodic photos, if injuries are visible. Record what you do related to the accident.
  20. Get the car independently appraised. If you get repairs, have damage/problems/repairs documented by mechanic.
  21. Keep a log of your driving or other expenses to get to and from doctors.
  22. Have you made arrangements with the appropriate parties to make sure your rent or mortgage is paid?
  23. Prepare for your own formal negotiations with the insurance company, if you feel they give you the opportunity. The insurance company is interested in keeping its costs down. Know all the traps you may face.
  24. Make sure you fully understand all of the legal/financial aspects of any settlement offer, for the short and long term.
  25. Assess whether a given settlement offer accounts for your future medical needs.

And these are just 25 actions you may need to take after an accident - there could be dozens more items to get done.

For a free review of your case, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 24/7 at 1-866-900-7078. Or click here to speak with a live representative.

What to Do After a Car Accident – These 10 Resources May Help

Even "minor" car accidents are rarely simple.

And if you were injured in the accident, it may be even more important to get all the facts about how to proceed.

We've put together some of the basic resources to help you understand some of the issues you may face, but each case is unique, and we strongly recommend that you contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer.

Here are 10 resources you may want to look at:

  1. Our website - There you'll find an immediate way to contact one of our staff LIVE and arrange for a free case evaluation. Links to what we do, information about car accidents and what to expect, and what steps to take and when. Includes helpful videos answering frequently asked questions.
  2. The Property Damage Booklet: a quick, helpful guide with answers to frequently asked questions about property damage to your vehicle and what you should do about it.
  3. Self-help booklets:
    Inside Information: Insurance Companies May Not Want You To Know

    After a Crash: Don't Make These Two Mistakes
  4. Our YouTube page, with videos you really should see.
  5. Case results that have made a big difference in clients' lives.
  6. Video:  What is the first thing I should do if I've been in an auto accident?
  7. Video: Do you really need an attorney after an accident?
  8. Video: What you should look for in a personal injury attorney.
  9. Video: I was in an auto accident. Will I have to go to court to settle my case?
  10. Video: Are laws different for a personal injury claim when a child is injured?

When you get hurt in an accident - get help.

Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 or at click here to send us a message.

North Carolina Motorcycle Accidents - Helmet Law Debated

A bill moving through the North Carolina legislature could affect the safety of all motorcycle riders. The legislation, House Bill 109, would make the use of a motorcycle helmet optional for adults, repealing North Carolina's current mandatory helmet law. According to News 14 Carolina, the House Transportation Committee has already approved the bill, and the bill has moved forward to the House Judiciary Committee for debate and a vote.

Unfortunately, this law would increase the risk of serious head injuries to motorcycle riders and passengers in the event of an accident. Our Durham motorcycle accident lawyers know that helmets can significantly reduce the chances of death or serious injury. North Carolina's current helmet laws mandate helmet use and have made the state one of the safest in terms of motorcycle death and accidents. Opponents of House Bill 109 believe that this new law would jeopardize the safety of all riders. Supporters contend riding free is a right and wearing a helmet is a choice. Experienced injury attorneys understand victims are due compensation regardless of helmet use when someone's negligence causes a serious or fatal collision.

Accident7_07032014New Motorcycle Helmet Law Considered

House Bill 109 proposes some very important changes to the current law. If the bill passes, the mandatory motorcycle helmet requirement will be repealed. Instead, helmet use will be optional if:

  • The rider is 21 years of age or older.
  • The rider has had a motorcycle license or an endorsement for a period of at least twelve months.
  • The rider has successfully completed a course in motorcycle safety.
  • The rider has insurance that provides at least $10,000 in coverage for medical benefits after a motorcycle accident.

 

Under these new requirements, a good portion of adult riders who are currently required to wear helmets would now have the choice.

The Risks of the New NC Helmet Law

Those who support changing the rules on helmet use believe that the issue is a matter of personal freedom. They believe that no adult should be required to wear a helmet if he or she does not want to. Those who want the helmet laws changed also argue that helmet mandates divert attention from other proven safety strategies such as awareness and education.

Opponents, however, are concerned that the risk of death will increase if the mandatory helmet law is repealed. Opponents argue that the current law is working well, and there is plenty of evidence to support the claim. The CDC, for example, indicates that North Carolina leads in the United States in terms of both money saved and lives saved as a result of the helmet law.

Further, opponents of the change to the helmet laws indicate that states that have relaxed their helmet laws have seen an increase in both deaths and brain injuries. This increases the Medicaid costs for the state, and of course also results in more people coping with serious injuries.

With the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reporting that the number of motorcycle accident fatalities has been on the rise nationwide for 14 of the past 15 years, there are strong arguments to be made that nothing should be done to reduce motorcycle safety. The GHSA data also shows that just this past year a nine percent increase in the number of fatalities was reported.

Regardless of what the law is, we want all riders to be safe.  But unfortunately, accidents happen all the time through no fault of your own.

If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-900-7078.

As Age Increases, so Does Risk of Motorcycle Injury

Accident1_06082014Since 2001, the roads have seen more people over the age of 65 riding motorcycles, and therefore have seen more motorcycle accidents. In 1990 only 10 percent of all motorcycle riders were over the age of 50, but by 2003 the percentage rose to 25.

According to a study published in the February edition of the Journal Injury Prevention,  it was determined that motorcycle crash injuries between 2001 and 2008  for the 60 and over demographic rose by a staggering 247 percent. In 2001 there were only 4,300 motorcycle injuries to people over the age of 60, but that number rose to 15,100 in 2008. Motorcycle crash injuries rose for all age groups, but rose by a greater percentage among those over 60. During the time period studied, the overall amount of motorcycle injuries was the highest between the ages of 20 to 39, but the increase in injury was highest among the 60 and older demographic.

In addition to having more accidents, the severity of the injuries also increases with those over the age of 60. Researchers have stated this may be due to decreased bone strength and redistribution of body fat. Riders who are over the age of 60 and involved in a motorcycle accident are three times more likely to be hospitalized for their injuries than younger riders. The most common types of injuries to motorcycle riders are dislocations and fractures of bones. Older riders are much more likely to have injuries to internal organs as well.

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous regardless of age because of a lack of protection that a car provides. The risk increases with age, but nobody is safe from a potential accident..

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin right now for a free case evaluation at 1-866-900-7078. Our personal injury attorneys help clients who have been injured in motorcycle accidents every day and they may be able to help you too.

Top 5 Auto Insurance Myths

The rules governing your auto insurance policy can be complicated, and most consumers don't take the time to thoroughly review their policies and ask questions to clarify their coverage. As a result, many drivers make certain assumptions about their insurance coverage. These assumptions are perpetuated as auto insurance myths.

Here are the top 5 auto insurance myths we hear when talking to clients:

I Have Comprehensive Coverage, so My Car is Covered for All Types of Damages

Despite what its name suggests, comprehensive coverage only covers certain types of damages to your vehicle, including things like fire, hail storms, theft and vandalism. You must purchase additional insurance to cover other types of damages, such as collision coverage for damages caused in an accident or uninsured motorist coverage for damages caused in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Car Theft_06132014Many drivers refer to "full coverage," as well as comprehensive coverage, in claiming to be covered against all damages. However, there is no one type of insurance coverage that protects against all damages. It is very important to have a copy of your insurance declaration page when talking with a personal injury attorney about your coverage after you've been in an accident.

If Someone Else is Driving My Car and an Accident Happens, I'm Not Liable

Unfortunately, you could be responsible for any damages caused by your vehicle, even if you are not driving at the time. The car insurance you carry for your vehicle could be considered the primary insurance, which would be used to cover damages in the event of an accident. However, if the damages exceed your coverage limits, the insurance policy held by the person driving may then be used to cover the remaining costs.

I am Automatically Covered for a Rental Vehicle Under My Personal Insurance Policy

While your personal auto insurance policy may cover some damages when you are driving another vehicle, you should not count on it providing coverage for a rental vehicle. There is a lot of fine print regarding what is covered when you are behind the wheel of another vehicle and under what circumstances. It's always best to purchase a policy that covers your rental car specifically when you pick it up.

Insurance Claims Will be Paid Fully and Promptly

If this were always the case, we wouldn't be in business. Unfortunately, we have seen that insurance companies will try to dispute coverage and deny claims. That's why it's always a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer after you've been in an accident. A qualified personal injury lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and try to ensure that you get the benefits to which you are entitled under the law.

My Insurance Company is Loyal to Me

Again, this is something that we've seen is not always true, unfortunately. Even your own insurance company can wrongfully deny your claim for coverage. It is important to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you fight for your rights and try to get the compensation that you may deserve for your injuries.

Make sure that you aren't counting on unfounded insurance myths if you are in an accident. Protect yourself by reviewing your insurance policy thoroughly and asking questions about anything that is unclear. Consult with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights under the law if you have been injured in an accident. The North Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you if you have been injured in an accident. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

Rural Counties in North Carolina “Killing Grounds” for Automobile Accidents, AAA Says

 AAA Carolinas released its annual report of the most dangerous roads in North Carolina, and it found that rural counties had the most fatal crashes, calling those places "killing grounds" for automobile accidents.

Helicopter Car Accident_06082014The annual report is based on a comparison of miles driven and the number of deadly North Carolina car accidents that occur. The report also provides results for the types of vehicles driven, including motorcycles and tractor trailers.

Clay County was determined to be the most dangerous for fatal crashes. Rounding out the top five were Graham, Hyde, Robeson and Hertford counties.

Those five counties accounted for 5.4 percent of the state's total fatal crashes, yet only accounted for 2 percent of the miles driven in the state.

Drivers in Graham County were determined to have the highest risk of being in an injurious crash. Rounding out the top five were New Hanover, Pitt, Wayne and Cumberland counties.

"Rural counties have roads that are generally narrower, with more curves, lower shoulders, faded or nonexistent road markings and less police presence than major highways," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. "These roads are notorious for single-vehicle accidents involving speeding, drinking and younger drivers."

Officials with the N.C. Highway Patrol said they were trying to increase patrols in areas known to be problematic and were working with the N.C. Department of Transportation to improve roads and lower speed limits in those areas.

This is the third straight year that rural counties have topped the list for having the most dangerous roads. However, the news was not all bad for rural counties: Some also topped the list for safest counties.

Swain County was determined to be the safest for total number of crashes and number of injurious crashes, and Yancey County was considered safest for fatal crashes.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you!

Texting and Other Distracted Driving May be Possible Factor in Increase in Traffic Fatalities, Data Shows

Last month, it was reported that the number of traffic fatalities had increased 13.5 percent in the first three months of the year over the first three months of last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) both suggested that warmer-than average winter weather may have contributed to more people driving, increasing the number of accidents.

However, data from the NHTSA during the same time period also showed that distracted driving became more of a factor in accidents during that time, and a new study from Ohio State University reported on the dangers of texting while driving.

In the last several years, the number of accidents caused by distracted driving has risen significantly. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving rose from being a factor in only 10 percent of crashes in 2005 to 18 percent in 2010.

Some officials believe that distracted driving and texting may be a bigger factor in the rise in traffic fatalities than the warmer weather encouraging more people to be on the roads. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) showed that there was only a 1.4 percent increase in miles traveled for the first three months of 2012.

Distracted Driving_07222014Research shows that not only are more people getting in wrecks as a result of distracted driving, but that many people are overconfident in their abilities to multitask while driving, perhaps contributing to the increase in accidents.

"What is surprising is that our results also suggest that people may perceive that texting is not more dangerous - they may think they can do a good job at two visual tasks at one time," said Zheng Wang, a lead author of the study at Ohio State University.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in an accident - whether it was the result of distracted driving or not - you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to get a free evaluation of your case and find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you!

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078