CHAPEL HILL – Drivers in the Tar Heel state aren’t very good at driving—at least according to CarInsuranceComparison.com study.
North Carolina was ranked No. 7 on the top ten list of the worst drivers in America.
Here are the worst 10:
2. South Carolina
7. North Carolina (tied)
10. South Dakota
The website used data from 2012 to formulate the list, taking into account fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled; citations for failure to obey traffic signals and seat belt laws; DUI infractions; and tickets for speeding and careless driving.
Angela Daley of AAA Carolinas says that distracted driving, which includes texting while driving, is the cause of many accidents in North Carolina, particularly vehicle/pedestrian collisions.
“We have seen a huge increase in pedestrian fatalities nationwide. Certainly in North Carolina, we have a lot of fast-growing urban areas and people may not be paying attention to pedestrians as much as they need to be,” Daley says. “That all goes along with districted driving.”
In defense of North Carolina, Daley explains that traffic fatalities are trending sharply downward this year.
As of Dec. 1, North Carolina saw a seven percent drop year-to-date in traffic deaths, including a decline of 118 alcohol-involved traffic deaths.
However, Daley says that statistics about distracted driving weren’t as favorable.
“The one thing that we saw an increase in was rear-end collisions. And we feel very strongly that distracted driving was a big contributor to that.”
Daley says that the number of accidents in North Carolina always increases during the holidays, correlating to the higher volume of motorists and more instances of drunk driving.
“Christmas is the highest volume we see of all the holidays of the year. You are dealing with congested roads, people are celebrating and you see a lot more drunk drivers on the road. We also have issues with people taking long road trips—drowsy driving. All of those factors mean that the roads are more dangerous over the holidays.”
A record number of North Carolinians—more than 2,800,00 – will travel 50 miles or more for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, according to AAA Carolinas.