WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington once again is receiving bad marks for traffic safety. Of the five worst counties in the Tar Heel State, New Hanover comes in second for accidents in a new AAA report.
AAA says there were nearly 4,500 accidents in New Hanover County in 2011. This qualifies it, once again, for the state’s most dangerous counties list.
Drivers we spoke with in New Hanover County say they’re not too worried about the new statistics and will continue to look out for themselves and other drivers.
“You really have to be on your Ps and Qs when you’re driving, because you never know what the next driver’s gonna do,” Michelle Galloway said. “They will dart in front of you. Have no respect. You just have to go with the flow and be a defensive driver.”
Joey Simmons said, “It’s not too bad. I personally have never been in an accident, and I’ve been driving for a long time, but you have to be on your toes, because there are a lot of accidents every day, especially downtown.”
Some drivers, though, say it’s not as bad as it could be.
“Up north it’s bumper to bumper. You’d rather be on a bike. It’s not too bad, though, compared to the north,” Avery Decarolis said.
Most drivers agree that the low grade may have something to do with the diversity of people, including students, retirees and tourists, who come to New Hanover County. Drivers also say the number of accidents may be up because of the constant use of cell phones.
“Not only are you looking out for people who can’t drive, you’re looking out for other people who have so many mobile devices that they’re paying attention to that and they’re not paying attention to the road,” Galloway said.
Tomorrow, the Wilmington Police Department will also address driving issues, specifically pedestrian-related accidents. Officers will enforce crosswalks at high traffic intersections, including 3rd and Ann Streets, 2100 Market Street, 17th Street and Medical Center Drive and Ashton and Independence Blvd.