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The Deadliest Roads in North Carolina – Is One Near You? Part of US-421 Is 6th

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Flashing lights in your rearview mirror. The squeal of brakes. A knot forms in your stomach as you realize how close you just came to disaster on the highway.

For thousands in North Carolina, their luck runs out every year. We analyzed the data to bring you the most treacherous stretches of NC road where far too many tragedies occur.

One may be closer than you think. Pull up a seatbelt, it’s time to reveal the deadliest highways and byways in our state.

Most of the deadliest roadways are in Charlotte, but one is quite close to us. No. 6 is US-421 between exits 196 and 190 in Guilford County. According to an analysis of three years of federal road fatality data, the 4.9-mile stretch of Highway 421 saw five fatal crashes between 2018 and 2020. In those five crashes, nine people died.

Here’s the full list:

1. Cliffdale Rd. from Beverly Dr. to Lansdowne Rd. in Fayetteville
2. I-77 from S. Mint St. to Exit 5 in Charlotte
3. I-77 from Exit 25 to Exit 19A in Huntersville/Charlotte
4. I-485 from Exit 26 to Exit 21 in Charlotte
5. The Plaza from Ilford St. to E. 36th St. in Charlotte
6. US-421 from Exit 196 to Exit 190 in Greensboro
7. SR-55 from Pineview Cemetery Rd. to Indian Springs Rd. in Wayne County
8. I-485 from Exit 12 to Exit 9 in Charlotte
9. I-85 from Exit 33 to Exit 36 in Charlotte
10. Eastway Dr. from Hilliard Dr. to Central Ave. in Charlotte

Don’t conclude that rural roads are safer

US-421 in Greensboro is a highway that sees accidents from driver errors, blind curves, and tricky exits. Exercise extra vigilance when passing through.

The remaining 6 deadly roads lie in Charlotte, but don’t let that lull you into complacency…

Rural Driving Dangers

Just because so many roadways in Charlotte are among the most dangerous ones doesn’t necessarily mean that we are safer in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, and surrounding areas. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), rural roads have historically been deadlier than urban ones.

While most hazardous highways are located in densely populated areas, treacherous rural backroads still account for nearly 50% of road fatalities in NC. Remote locations mean delayed emergency response when crashes occur. Curvy terrain brings higher rollover risk. And there are fewer lanes, so any mistake can be instantly catastrophic.

The IIHS notes that rural crashes tend to occur more on local roads than arterial highways, so they’re more spread out. There are plenty of crashes in rural areas – just not all on the same few stretches of road.

It’s not just the roads. It’s the drivers.

While flawed road design contributes, drivers engaging in risky behaviors such as speeding, DUIs, and distraction cause the majority of accidents. Twenty-three percent of the fatal crashes in North Carolina between 2018 and 2020 involved at least one drunk driver. Speeding caused 25% of those fatal crashes. Distracted driving was known to be involved in at least 7% – simply put, more drivers on the road are getting into crashes.

Keep an eye on the road, be cautious, and obey speed limits. To prevent becoming another fatal crash statistic, abide by these recommendations. Your life is worth more than a text or getting to your exit 2 minutes faster.

If tragedy does strike, find an experienced personal injury attorney that can guide you through your legal options help paying your bills, and advice on how to get a fair settlement. Be sure and talk to a compassionate attorney with the experience needed to get you through the legal process after a crash.


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