GREENVILLE, N.C. — Motor vehicle collisions are consistently among the leading causes of death and injury in North Carolina.

A fatal collision can occur at any point on the state’s road network, but are there any areas where motorists are at higher risk? More specifically, where are the deadliest places on North Carolina roads?

1Point21 Interactive and Nagle & Associates examined all fatal crashes that occurred in North Carolina from the year 2000 through 2019 and isolated those that occurred on a primary or secondary road. During this 20 -year period, 13,282 people were killed, 12,030 of those being fatal crashes on roadways.

The deadliest stretches in North Carolina can be found in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro, Gastonia and Rocky Mount. The only two cities with more than one deadly stretch are Charlotte and Greensboro.

Interstate 85, located between exits 36 and 41, is the deadliest five-mile road segment in North Carolina. In 20 years there were 39 fatal crashes, resulting in 42 deaths

The NCDOT has completed several projects to expand Interstate-85 and improve traffic flow in the area, but it did not apply to this particular stretch. As the Charlotte region continues to grow over time, the city promises to change.

Unpredictable road conditions in the state can limit the visibility of drivers and increase the risk of a collision. Traffic congestion and tractor-trailer traffic also add an additional risk to these roads. Despite this, negligent, inattentive, and unsafe driving behaviors are the biggest risks on the roadways.

While not every crash can be prevented, understanding where danger or risk may be elevated can help drivers take steps to increase safety and lower the likelihood of being involved in a collision.

Be sure to:

  • Obey all posted traffic signs and signals
  • Avoid distraction, especially the use of a cell phone or texting
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards or unsafe drivers
  • Avoid driving late at night if possible. If this is unavoidable, be sure to be well-rested and extra aware
  • Ensure that your vehicle’s tires and brakes are in a good, safe condition