Western North Carolina’s Dangerous HighwaysThe Mountains of Western North Carolina are filled with rural roads and beautiful scenic highways.  However, in cities like Asheville, Marion, and Lenoir the number of fatalities on these rural roads is higher than the more urban cities of North Carolina, especially at night.

But the count isn’t solely because of these rural roads; our highways are also some of the most dangerous in the state.  I-26, I-40, Hwy 74, Leicester Hwy and 19-23 all have steep slopes, curvy stretches, and a landscape that can obstruct motorist visibility.  They are also poorly lit and have less police presence than city highways.

Transylvania County had the highest per miles traveled death toll in 2009 according to AAA.  Western North Carolina’s Haywood County was once known as the place of your “Best chance of being in a collision” under the “Top 5 Dangerous Counties for Tractor-Trailers.”  Interstate 40 is incredibly narrow and winding, now combine that with the typical icy conditions during our cold winter months and you have a possible recipe for disaster.

For motorcyclists, Western North Carolina is very popular.  Our highways offer gorgeous, scenic views with rolling mountains.  But alas, they are not the safest.  Topping AAA’s ranks of “5 Dangerous Counties for Motorcyclists” with the “Best Chance for Being Injured,” are our very own Swain and Graham Counties.

Showing up again, but his time leading the pack of North Carolina Counties with “Best Chance of Being Killed” is Graham County. This is mainly due to the popular but very dangerous “Tail of the Dragon” scenic roadway. The Tail of the Dragon runs from Graham County in North Carolina to the Tennessee state line, and is considered by many as one of the world’s best (technical) motorcycling and sports car roads.

This roadway is just eleven miles long but features 318 curves … none of which are the same. There are no buildings or driveways along the roadside, just the Great Smoky Mountain National Forest on the north side and the Cherokee National Forest on the south side.

We’re also the home of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Blue Ridge Parkway a road many motorcyclists and tourists travel specifically for its scenic views.  And while beautiful, it is also known for its curves and dangerous hills with low visibility during foggy or rainy weather conditions.  And according the Blue Ridge Parkway Ranger Office, “The biggest cause of accidents on the parkway is speed and inattention, not keeping a close eye on surroundings, [especially during peak traffic seasons]”.

Chief Ranger Neal Labrie goes on to say, “With so much to see from those windows, we need to focus on the drive first and then break out the cameras and the phones and everything else.”

Our Western North Carolina roadways are some of the most dangerous in the country.  Road conditions combined with high speeds, fatigue, alcohol, and distracted driving can all be contributing factors to car accidents.

Brad Stark, Perry Fisher, and Megan Silver

Have you or a loved one been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Ashe, Clay, Graham, Swain, Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, or any other Western North Carolina County, you should speak with a lawyer immediately.

Time is of the essence and you may have a claim that can help you get the compensation you deserve.  Time may heal all wounds, but it is not your ally when seeking financial compensation.

The attorneys at Fisher Stark, P.A. are experienced personal injury lawyers dedicated to representing North Carolina auto accident victims. Please call us today at 828-505-4300 for a free consultation.