Observer Reports NC Traffic Deaths Up 19 percent

Numbers mirror a nationwide trend Accidents in Charlotte were up in 2014 as well

Traffic deaths are up 19 percent in North Carolina so far this year, mirroring a troubling national trend, according to data from the National Safety Council.

Accidents are increasing in the Charlotte area as well, reaching levels not seen since before the 2009 recession, the Charlotte Department of Transportation says.

A confluence of factors is to blame: Plunging gas prices are sending more people out on the roads and for longer trips. The steadily improving economy is having a similar effect. And distracted driving continues to be an intransigent problem.