WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - Columbus County has been dubbed the 8th deadliest county per capita, with 42 of intersection deaths recorded per 100,000 residents, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Administration.
A study from AutoInsurance.com claims that since 2010, there’s been a 27 percent increase in intersection fatalities. With 2.9 fatalities for every 1,000 miles, North Carolina ranks as the 17th deadliest state for crashes at intersections.
Sparsely populated areas such as Columbus County have shown to be particularly dangerous due to the mass amounts of trucks and tankers passing through.
In June of this year, a man and his 2-year-old daughter were killed after a tractor-trailer collided with their vehicle. Troopers say the driver was traveling east on US 74 and failed to stop at a stop sign. Investigators at the scene said three people were inside the black four-door car when the family pulled out in front of the fuel tanker.
Due to the number of deaths, intersection safety has become a complex public health issue that Columbus County officials are trying to combat. Multidisciplinary teams are working on coming up with a national comprehensive effort to improve intersection, vehicle, and pedestrian safety management, according to the Federal Highway Administration.