PITT COUNTY - For the fifth straight year, one Eastern Carolina county is listed as the most dangerous place in the state for vehicle collisions, according to AAA Carolinas's annual list.
With 4,633 traffic crashes in 2012, Pitt County averaged 306.7 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, AAA Carolinas reported. That was 50 percent higher than the North Carolina average of 204.7 crashes.
Driver James Windley says that's not a surprise.
"You've got texting, you've got people drinking and driving, you've got people not paying attention, and if we could just correct those three things, I think we'd see an improvement," Windley said.
Driver Becky Wood blames the strange traffic patterns around Greenville.
"The stoplights seem to be out of sync, and people can't get a good flow going before they have to stop again, and they get frustrated and go through the red lights," Wood said.
Tonya Skinner says it's the young, college student population causing the crashes.
"It's just a whole lot of craziness," Skinner said. "People just don't pay attention. It's a lot going on in a small town, with football games and such stuff as that, so I'm not surprised at all."
Following Pitt County in the rankings are New Hanover, Person and Watauga Counties.
New Hanover County averaged 286.8 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, Person County averaged 266.6, and Watauga County averaged 259.3, according to AAA Carolinas. Union County, which ranked fifth for collisions, didn't appear on the list last year.
For fatal crashes per vehicle miles traveled in 2012, Hoke, Warren, Gates Robeson and Yancey Counties ranked most dangerous, AAA Carolinas stated. Combined, those five counties accounted for 81 fatal crashes. That equaled to 6.8 percent of North Carolina's total, despite carrying only 2.4 percent of the state's vehicle miles traveled.
According to AAA Carolinas, Hoke County, ranked most dangerous for fatal crashes, handled less than 0.4% of the state's total vehicle miles traveled. But it had 4.27 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles. That was nearly four times more than the North Carolina average of 1.15.
For crashes in which people were injured, Graham, Pitt, New Hanover, Wayne and Gaston Counties were the top five in AAA Carolina's list.
For a complete list of traffic crash numbers by county, DOWNLOAD SPREADSHEET.
For a list of top five counties in each crash category, CLICK HERE.
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