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Are Triad Intersections Dangerous?

Are Triad intersections safe? It's a question we're asking after Cam Newton's crash at a dangerous intersection in Charlotte.
Woman driving car


TRIAD -- After learning of Cam Newton's crash at a dangerous intersection in Charlotte, 2 Wants to Know about dangerous intersections in the Triad and what cities and counties are doing to make them safer.

There are 8,000 car crashes in Greensboro every year. It's a statistic that has the city's department of transportation keeping a constant eye on how to bring that number down.

It starts with taking an annual survey of all city intersections to look for problems. "We start to see patterns," said Chris Spencer of the Greensboro Department of Transportation. "From those patterns, we can go and look in the field and investigate why are those occurring and see if there's maybe signage or markings that we could implement that would help with those patterns."

The Greensboro DOT keeps an eye on crash totals on every road. The intersection of Eugene and Market downtown is just one example of a place where engineers noticed a problem and made changes.

"It's a location where we've had some pedestrian accidents in the cross walk so we looked at installing some additional signage to just make it clear to turning traffic that they had to yield to pedestrians," said Spencer.

At Friendly and Green Valley in Greensboro, engineers added a flashing yellow arrow because they were seeing a large number of crashes involving left turns.

In High Point, some roads that intersect with Main Street are the most dangerous. Take Fairfield for example. The intersection with Main is constantly the most dangerous. To help with that, the city added turn lanes to try to make it better.

You'd be surprised at how many changes engineers can make to the road or intersection to make it safer. Noticeable changes include adding turn lanes or reducing the speed limit, but small changes might include extending the length of the green light to let more people through, or adding a black border to the stoplight so it's easier to see when the sun is rising or setting.

Spencer said the most dangerous intersections don't necessarily mean the most crashes. The DOT will look at severity of the crashes and compare the crash number to the number of people who travel that road every day.

"Crashes do tend to follow the volume of traffic on a street so roads like Wendover Avenue that have 60,000 people a day are obviously going to have more crashes," said Spencer.

City engineers in Winston-Salem said they don't keep track of the intersections with the most crashes, but focus on intersections where there have been multiple crashes.