Tracking Traffic: An interactive breakdown of some of the region’s worst intersections for accidents
SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of life, and as southeastern North Carolina continues to grow, accidents are a common sight. With more drivers on the road, the number of accidents will likely increase as well.
WECT compiled data provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation for New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties to track the top 10 locations for accidents in each county respectively.
Car crashes can range from simple fender benders to more serious fatal accidents, but there is good news. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatal accidents have seen a downward trend since reaching an apex in 1979 with 51,093 fatalities caused by traffic accidents. In 2019 there were 36,096 fatal traffic accidents. This decrease could be attributed to increased safety features in vehicles, among other factors.
When it comes to accidents, there are multiple factors to take into consideration, including both speed and congestion.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCIB), “...at low traffic volumes, accidents occur frequently as a result of high speeds, while at high volumes, accident rates are higher due to more cars being on the road.”
It is important to note that these intersections are not necessarily more or less dangerous than any other intersections and that the volume of traffic can contribute to the number of accidents.
Also, there could be intersections that have multiple points where the two roads connect. If this is the case, the NCDOT combines both intersections in their crash reporting numbers.
New Hanover County
Being much more rural compared to other counties, the number of accidents tracked by NCDOT is lower. However, there are problematic intersections everywhere.
Many of the more accident-prone intersections are located in or around Elizabethtown.
The intersection of NC 87 and Tar Heel Road had 44 crashes reported by NCDOT.
The intersection of Mill Street and US 701 saw 31 crashes between 2016 and 2020.
Just a block away, the intersection of US 701 and Swanzy Street had 30 crashes in that same time.
In Bladenboro, at the intersection of NC 211 and NC 242, there were 21 crashes, three of which were either fatal or had serious injuries.
Out towards Dublin, the intersection of Twisted Hickory Road and Center Road had 11 crashes.
Again, Columbus County saw fewer crashes when compared with more populated areas; however, it too has it’s fair share of dangerous intersections.
The most crashes occurred at the intersection of US 701 and US 74 Business in Whiteville, where 90 accidents were reported.
At the intersection of US 701 Business and SR 1433 in Whiteville, there were 42 crashes reported.
US 74 and the intersection at NC 87 or Old Stage Highway had 38 crashes reported by NCDOT. Technically, the crashes here were reported as the US 74 west-bound couplet.
In Whiteville again, the intersection of US 701 and West Love Mill Road had 38 accidents.
Further down the road in Whiteville, the intersection of US 701 and West Virgil Street had 36 accidents.
The intersection of NC 11 and NC 87 in East Arcadia had 34 crashes reported by NCDOT between 2016 and 2020.
At the intersection of US 74 and Joe Brown Highway North, there were 33 accidents here, one of which was classified as including serious injuries or death.
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