GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The United States saw the largest number of traffic fatalities in over a half a century.
That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2015, there were more than 35,000 fatalities for the year, up 7.2 percent. North Carolina had a similar percentage at 7.4 with nearly 1,400 fatalities.
Crashes where alcohol was involved make up a third of those fatalities. Both pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities are on the rise.
One Greenville mother is urging drivers to think twice because it may save a life.
“He was the world to me,” Rose Bryant said about her son, Dominique or Bear. He was the world to a lot of people, including his mother and definitely his daughter. “She loved her daddy. They were very, very close.”
6 months ago, Bear was doing something he loved when a tragedy happened.
“Motorcycle was his life,” said Bryant. “A life was taken.”
He was riding his motorcycle down this street when a driver hit him.
“I never thought that that day was the last day I was going to see my son,” said Bryant.
The Bryant family’s nightmare is all too common because accidents just like Bear’s are on the rise.
“Twenty-seven times morel likely for a motorcycle rider to get in an accident than a regular vehicle,” said Charmayne Simpson, Bear’s cousin.
“If the young lady would have just waited a second to look before turning in front of him, his life would’ve been spared,” said Bryant.
Nationally, motorcycle fatalities are at their highest number in a decade. Troopers in the east said there were 7 deaths last year compared to one in 2014.
“I would never want another family to go through what I’m going through, still going through,” said Bryant.
Now Bear’s loved ones want everyone to think about motorcyclists during their next ride around town.
“A lot of times that’s all it takes is just a second to just wait and be patient,” said Bryant.
“We always say the motto is look twice and save a life,” said Simpson.
Because this life may have ended too soon, but his memory lives on forever.
“He’s in heaven and he’s still watching over us,” said Bryant.
For a link to all the motor vehicle crash numbers, just click here.