RALEIGH – Two simple choices can save lives: buckle up and put down your phone while driving.
To reinforce the governor’s proclamation, the N.C. Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to practice safe behaviors by buckling your safety belt, ditching the distractions and focusing on the road.
Those behaviors are especially important in October, which historically has been the deadliest month of the year to be on the roads.
“One life lost to distracted and unbelted driving is too many,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Joey Hopkins. “Accept the challenge: always wear a seat belt, remove distracting devices while driving and help us achieve zero fatalities in North Carolina.”
In 2022 alone, 712 people died as a result of not wearing a seat belt or driving while distracted. Nearly 50% of the total crash fatalities that occurred last year were unbuckled drivers.
More than 17 percent of the crashes in North Carolina last year involved a driver who was distracted. The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles states that driver distraction is a self-reporting circumstance; therefore, the data collected may not reflect the severity of this issue.
“Even the most attentive drivers are involved in crashes caused by other drivers,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Wearing a seat belt every time you enter a vehicle is your best defense against injury and death.”