10 Most Dangerous Intersections in NC

It is a Monday morning. Everyone is coming off the weekend – some are eager to start the week, speeding along. Others are overtired and distracted, not quite giving their full attention to the road. Some are running late, rushing and careless. All of these scenarios have the potential to lead to the same result: a car accident.

While distracted, fatigued, or careless drivers are bad enough, there are intersections that pose a statistically higher risk as well.

Intersections are naturally a high-risk area and, as the statistics show, some intersections are worse than others. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. And, according to 2020 crash statistics from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, nearly half of all crashes across the state happened at intersections. While more than 120,000 crashes happened at non-intersections, nearly 115,000 happened at intersections.

The biggest culprit? Almost 40,000 of intersection crashes happened at intersections with no traffic control device whatsoever. A close second was the more than 38,000 crashes that happened at stop and go signals. The third most likely traffic control tool to be a factor in a crash is the standard stop sign.

As such, drivers should take note of the most dangerous intersections in North Carolina.

A map of ten dangerous intersections in North Carolina.


The Top 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in North Carolina

Based on the 2022 HSIP data, the most potentially hazardous intersections in North Carolina are as follows:


Rank Intersection County Danger Factor
(10-point scale)
1 NC 50 at NC 53 Pender 9.71
2 Graham at University City Mecklenburg 8.85
3 US 421 at SR 1120 Pender 8.69
4 US 74 at SR 1506 Columbus 7.84
5 US 220 at NC 73 Richmond 7.11
6 US 70 at NC 87 Alamance 7.07
7 NC 11 at SR 1740 Columbus 6.64
8 NC 27 at SR 1609 Mecklenburg 6.25
9 I 40 at NC 54 Alamance 6.04
10 US 15 at SR 1129 Granville 5.67

Highway Safety Program and its Initiative to Help Drivers Stay Safe

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) pioneered the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) to provide precisely this type of data, with the hope of “addressing specific traffic safety concerns throughout the state.”

Through HISP, NCDOT compiled the above data from the potentially hazardous intersection locations in each county. From that, we gathered the 10 most dangerous intersections overall across the state.  While this data reflects where crashes are occurring, we are still left with one glaring question: why?

About 115,000 crashes happen at intersections every year according to a crash statistic from the NCDOT. Give us a call if you or someone close to you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Factors Contributing to Intersection Crashes

The most frequent reasons (in order from most prevalent to least) were inattentive driving, making a false assumption of other’s action, turning with an obstructed view, performing an illegal maneuver, distraction, and misjudgment of other’s speed. As such, exercising safe, attentive driving is critical.

The study also found the following characteristics to be particularly distinguishable:

  • Age: Specific driving errors were most commonly found in certain age groups. For example, intersection crashes involving those 24 and younger are most often attributed to distraction, false assumption of other’s action, or aggressive driving. Crashes involving drivers ranging in age from 25-54, on the other hand, are likely due to physical impairment (for example: sleeping, heart attack, etc.), illegal maneuvers, inattention and aggressive driving. Finally, crashes involving drivers 55 and older are often caused by inattentive driving and misjudgment of other’s speed.
  • Gender: 1% of crashes involving female drivers were at intersections, while 32.2% of crashes involving male drivers were at intersections. Furthermore, intersection crashes involving female drivers are often attributed to inattention and internal or external distractions. In contrast, crashes involving male drivers are most likely caused by illegal maneuvers, aggressive driving, or physical impairment.

North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

 If you find yourself in a car accident – anywhere in North Carolina, intersection or not – The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is ready to help you. We will evaluate your case for free, and we do not collect an attorney’s fee unless we get compensation for you.2

If you have been in an auto accident in North Carolina, contact us or call 1-866-900-7078.

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About the Author

Michael Shepherd is a lead personal injury attorney for the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in North Carolina, and he is also licensed to practice in Virginia. Prior to taking a position with the firm, Michael worked as a senior claims representative for a major insurance company, which provided him with insight into the types of tactics and strategies “the other side” often employs when dealing with car accident victims. His professional affiliations include the American Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association. He is also past President of the Eastern NC Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.