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The Number of Fatal Accidents on North Carolina Rural Roads Topped 1,000 Last YearJuly 29, 2023
Fatal Accidents on North Carolina Rural Roads
At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A., our Charlotte car accident attorneys know that some North Carolina roadways are seemingly more dangerous than others. A new investigation by ABC11 I-Team found that one of those roads, NC 690 in Moore County, has been the site of more than 460 crashes in the past decade.
Earlier this month, a head-on crash on NC 690 left four people dead when a car going 105 mph crossed the center line and hit a car carrying three sisters from Southern Pines. Unfortunately, that was not the only accident that occurred on the rural road. The I-Team analysis found this 15-mile stretch of highway averages around 20 accidents that cause injuries a year.
Why are Rural Roads the Site of So Many Deadly Crashes?
According to the I-Team investigation, an analysis of North Carolina crash data revealed that 64% of the severe accidents during the past decade occurred on rural roads. For most of that span, an average of 883 fatal accidents occurred on rural roads throughout the state each year.
In both 2021 and 2022, the number of fatal accidents on North Carolina rural roads topped 1,000.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), North Carolina is not the only state with these types of fatal numbers.
Nearly half of all fatal crashes throughout the country occur on rural roads, even though only 19% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas.
The GHSA attributes the high rate of crashes in these areas to several factors, including a lack of safety resources, simpler roadway infrastructure, poor emergency medical services, and to a significant extent, risky driver behaviors. The biggest culprits are not wearing a seat belt, impaired driving, speeding, and distraction.
Here, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has solutions planned for NC 690. Some of the improvements slated for the roadway include constructing a roundabout, an all-way stop, and adding paved shoulders and rumble strips; improvements that are estimated to cost more than $30 million.
Though improvements are coming to NC 690, construction is not scheduled to begin until 2027. Residents in the area are concerned that the long wait will mean more people get injured or killed in the meantime.
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