My Turn: NHC has an alarming safety rate for vehicle travel - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: NHC has an alarming safety rate for vehicle travel

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Here's something that probably won't surprise you if you've traveled the roads much in southeastern North Carolina.  According to AAA, it isn't very safe to be traveling on the roads around here.

They studied the state's accident reports for 2011 and found New Hanover County is the second most dangerous county in the state for vehicle accidents. Our region has been high on that list for years now.

We do have a lot of visitors.  People love our beaches. But we can't blame it all on tourists. I see a lot of crazy driving taking place year round.  We all have to drive defensively every single time we get behind the wheel. 

I've been harping on the driving in this area ever since arriving here nearly five years ago. But things aren't changing and these statistics show that improvement is needed.

I'd love to hear from you.  What do you think needs to be done to make our roads safer?

Send your best ideas to me by emailing them to  We'll choose some of the better suggestions and share them with you in the future. 

In the meantime…be careful out there.


Emailed comments from viewers:

I'm so happy to see I'm not the only one that feels this way. I live in Brunswick county and travel to New Hanover, Pender, Carteret and Onslow county 5 days a week for work for an average of 200 miles a day, I have my share of driving around here. The biggest thing I see is NO LAW ENFORCEMENT!!!!  Totally absent.... I rarely see a State Trooper and when I do they don't seem to be paying any attention to people passing me doing 10-15 MPH above the posted speed limit.. I keep it within 5mph of the posted speed limit.. we all have somewhere to be but some courtesy goes a long long way... P.S. who designed the ramp to merge onto hwy 74 from 421 with one lane? All that traffic, horrible bottle neck.. so, sum it up, more law enforcement actually doing something and improvements to roads to handle volumes of traffic, it isn't gonna get any better....


Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I've lived here for 22 years and loving it.  But I've never seen such bad drivers in my life. And no, it is not just the tourists. The worst observation that I witness on a daily basis, is the local folks who have lost their licenses for whatever reason or can't afford a car and are permitted to use a moped.  How can you let someone who is already dangerous on the road with a vehicle, be permitted to use a moped without a license? If they can't afford a vehicle, well, I'm sorry for them. 

They drive out in the middle of the right lane forcing cars to really slow down; forcing drivers to move left and jam up in traffic. They create a very dangerous situation. And most of the time, you can't see the person on the moped until you are on top of them.  This is a very dangerous thing for the DMV or NC law to permit.  If you don't drive safely in the first place, than you shouldn't be permitted to drive any type of transportation. If they can't afford a car, they need to just walk and let the rest of us get where we're going in a safe manner.


I've been driving here for a year now and there are 2 major problems with drivers here.

The worst thing is drivers pulling out in front of others. Routinely, I'll be going the speed limit, (no more than 5 over) and people will pull out in front of me, in say a 45 mph zone and then they will not accelerate past 30. I've been pulled out in front of on Midway in the 55 zone, no other cars in site but someone is in a hurry to pull out in front of me and then not accelerate over 40.

Next is related to the above. There's a sign with a big number on it that says speed limit...Not sure what people think around here but when the speed limit is 35 you go very close to 35. Constantly I drive along below the speed limit, say 32 in a 35 zone because the car in front of me won't budge up to the speed limit. It comes time for me to make a left turn, I signal, move to the center turn lane and lo and behold, I accelerate to the speed limit. As I start to nudge past the car doing 32 in the 35, they go to get into the center lane too, not bothering to look before changing lanes! I've driven NC133 many times, and you can count on SOMEONE varying their speed from 35 to 52 the whole way...could be for miles! No reason to vary speed like that. Also been stuck 7 cars behind these fools and NO ONE will pass.

So the police need to enforce the speed limit, both above AND below. And there needs to be a consensus about what the speed limit signs really mean, whether 45 means 45 or completely up to how fast the driver wants to go. And when I took the NC driver's test one of the questions was "What is the leading cause of crashes in NC?" The answer "Drivers driving too slow" so someone other than me must see the problem.

Thanks I enjoy the my turn segment.


Gary, thank you for your My Turn comments concerning traffic dangers in our community. When the numbers show that we are more likely to be hurt while driving than traditional crime – it should acknowledged. Well said and appreciated.

I have personally opened a dialogue with Wave Transit for the buses speeding through the residential neighborhoods – I have been told that the drivers have been counseled on this issue and that it should stop. A few speeders establish a new norm and with so little police action for this kind of activity, it becomes an issue.

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