Where Do Car Accidents Occur in Durham?

June 4, 2024 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
Where Do Car Accidents Occur in Durham?

Durham car accidents can have devastating effects on individuals and their families. Whether it's a minor fender bender or a serious collision, the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in Durham, seek legal representation to protect your rights. A skilled Durham car accident attorney can guide you through the legal process and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact one today for a free car accident consultation and to learn more about your legal rights.

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Population Density and Traffic Congestion

Durham, with its growing population and bustling roadways, experiences a significant number of car accidents each year. Increasing population density and traffic congestion contribute to these unfortunate incidents. The high volume of vehicles on the roads, particularly during peak hours, increases the chances of collisions and accidents.

Worst Road in Durham

The areas in Durham with the most crashes in the last five years, according to NCDOT, are as follows:

  • I-40 at N.C. 55
  • I-40 at SR1118
  • I-85 at U.S. 15 BUS/Roxboro Road
  • I-85 at N.C. 157
  • U.S. 70 at N.C. 98
  • I-40 at N.C. 54
  • I-40 at U.S. 15
  • I-85 at N.C. 55
  • U.S. 15 at N.C. 147
  • N.C. 55 at N.C. 147

The areas in Durham with the most severe crashes and patterns of crashes between 2017 and 2021, according to NCDOT, are as follows:

  1. I-85 at U.S. 15/501 Bus
  2. S. Roxboro at Morehead
  3. N.C. 98 / Holloway at Lynn
  4. N. Roxboro at Horton
  5. N.C. 147 at Hopson
  6. I-85 at Cole Mill
  7. N.C. 55 at Cornwallis
  8. MLK at Hope Valley
  9. Club at Duke
  10. N.C. 98 / Holloway at Adams

The data did not include Guess at Milton, Alston at Angier and, N.C. 55 at Meredith.

Busy Intersections

One of the most common places for car accidents in Durham is busy intersections. With multiple lanes of traffic and drivers trying to navigate their way through, intersections can be chaotic. It's not uncommon to see drivers running red lights or failing to yield the right of way, leading to collisions.

Highways and Freeways

car accident Highway

Several major highways and freeways crisscross Durham. These high-speed roadways see a high volume of traffic, increasing the likelihood of car accidents.

Common factors contributing to accidents on highways and freeways include speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, and impaired driving. Motorists who fail to exercise caution and adhere to the speed limits when driving on these roads increase their risk of causing an accident.

Residential Areas

While accidents on busy intersections and highways may grab more attention, car accidents in residential areas are also common. These accidents often occur due to speeding, distracted driving, or failure to observe traffic signs and signals.

When driving through residential areas in Durham, drivers cause accidents by not keeping an eye out for the following and more:

  • Children playing near the road
  • Pedestrians crossing at intersections or crosswalks
  • Bicyclists sharing the road

Construction Zones

Durham is a growing city, and with growth comes infrastructure development and construction zones. These areas can be particularly hazardous for drivers if they are not adequately marked or if drivers fail to follow signage and instructions.

When drivers fail to observe the following, the risk of an accident increases:

  • Reduced speed limits
  • Lane closures
  • Workers on the road
  • Uneven pavement or other obstructions

Parking Lots

Though often overlooked, parking lots can be hotspots for car accidents. With cars maneuvering in tight spaces and pedestrians walking to and from their vehicles, accidents can happen if drivers are not paying attention.

Drivers can cause parking lot accidents when they fail to:

  • Drive slowly and cautiously
  • Watch for pedestrians and other vehicles
  • Use mirrors and check blind spots
  • Follow posted signage or markings

Types of Car Accidents

Car accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, and Durham is no exception. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you should be aware of the common types of car accidents in Durham and the steps to take after an accident.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents in Durham. They occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle. These accidents can result in various injuries, including whiplash and back injuries. Factors such as distracted driving, tailgating, or sudden stops can contribute to rear-end collisions.

T-Bone Collisions

T-bone collisions, also known as side-impact or broadside collisions, occur when the front end of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. These accidents can result in severe injuries, as the sides of vehicles offer less protection compared to the front or rear. T-bone collisions often happen at intersections or when one driver fails to yield the right of way.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles collide front-to-front, often at high speeds. These accidents are among the most devastating and can result in severe injuries or fatalities. Factors such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or wrong-way driving can contribute to head-on collisions.

Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles traveling in the same direction make contact with each other. These accidents can happen when one vehicle merges or changes lanes without checking their blind spots. While sideswipe accidents are generally less severe than other types of accidents, they can still result in injuries and property damage.

Single Vehicle Accidents

Single-vehicle accidents involve only one vehicle and can occur for various reasons. These accidents may involve hitting a stationary object, such as a tree or a pole, or veering off the road due to driver fatigue or adverse weather conditions.

Multi-Vehicle Pileups

Multi-vehicle pileups, or chain-reaction accidents, occur when several vehicles collide with each other in a series. These accidents often happen on highways or in areas with heavy traffic. Sudden stops, adverse weather conditions, or distracted driving can contribute to multi-vehicle pileups.

Common Causes of Durham Car Accidents

Here are some factors that often contribute to car accidents in the area:

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents in Durham. Activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or grooming while driving can divert a driver's attention from the road, leading to accidents.


Speeding is another common cause of car accidents. When drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road or weather conditions, they may have less control over their vehicles and less time to react to potential dangers.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a serious offense that puts lives at risk. Alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making it dangerous to operate a vehicle. If you notice an impaired driver on the road, contact the authorities and avoid engaging with the driver yourself.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving behaviors like aggressive driving, tailgating, or running red lights can lead to accidents. These behaviors disregard the safety of others on the road and increase the risk of collisions.

Adverse Weather Conditions

Durham experiences various weather conditions throughout the year, including rain, snow, and fog. These adverse weather conditions can make the roads slippery and reduce visibility, increasing the likelihood of accidents if drivers fail to adjust their driving accordingly.

The Elements of Negligence in Car Accident Cases

When it comes to car accidents in Durham, understanding the elements of negligence is crucial. Negligence is the basis for holding someone legally responsible or liable for the harm caused in an accident. To successfully prove negligence, several key elements must be established.

The first element is duty of care. This means that the at-fault party had a legal responsibility to act with a reasonable level of care while driving. In other words, they were obliged to follow traffic laws, avoid distractions, and drive safely. If they breached this duty of care, they may be considered negligent.

The second element is a breach of duty. This occurs when the at-fault party fails to meet the standard of care expected of them while driving. This can include reckless driving, speeding, running red lights, texting while driving, or any other actions that put others at risk.

The third element is causation. It must be shown that the at-fault party's breach of duty caused the accident and injuries. This can be complicated in car accident cases, as there may be multiple factors at play. However, if it can be proven that the at-fault party's actions were a substantial factor in causing the accident, they may be held responsible.

Proving negligence in car accident cases requires a thorough investigation, gathering of evidence, and a solid understanding of the law. That's why it's in your best interest to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side.

The North Carolina Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

If you've been involved in a car accident in Durham, you need to know about the North Carolina statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for pursuing legal action against the responsible party.

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is generally three years from the date of the accident. This means that you have three years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other associated losses.

Be sure to consult with a Durham car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure you meet all necessary deadlines and protect your legal rights. Remember that certain factors can affect the statute of limitations, so it is always best to seek professional legal advice specific to your situation.

What to Do After a Car Accident

Even though being involved in a car accident can be distressing and overwhelming, it's best to stay calm and take specific steps to protect your well-being and legal rights. Here are the key actions to take after a car accident in Durham:

Seek Medical Care

Medical Care

Your health and well-being should be your top priority after a car accident. Even if you don't immediately feel severe pain or notice visible injuries, be sure to seek medical care. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, may have delayed symptoms. Seeing a healthcare professional ensures that any injuries are properly diagnosed and treated. 

Having your injuries documented in your healthcare record also helps support your injury claim. If you fail or wait to seek medical care, it makes it much harder for your Durham car accident attorney to prove your injuries are linked to your car accident. The longer you wait, the more insurance companies will refute the connection between your injuries and the accident.

Contact a Durham Car Accident Attorney

After seeking medical care, contact a Durham car accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will manage the personal injury legal process, protect your rights, and pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages. They can also handle communication with insurance companies, gather evidence, and negotiate on your behalf.

Don't Talk to the Insurance Company

Insurance companies may contact you after a car accident to gather information about the incident. Always remember that insurance adjusters are trained to minimize the amount they pay out in claims. Avoid providing recorded statements or signing any documents without consulting a car accident attorney first.

It's common for adjusters to contact injured victims almost immediately after an accident to offer a quick settlement. While this might sound like a welcome relief, it's more often than not a trick to get you to settle your claim for less than you deserve. They hope that you agree to their lowball offer before speaking to an attorney and learning what your case really can be worth.

Contact a Durham Car Accident Attorney Today

Car accidents can happen anywhere, but certain areas in Durham are more prone to them. Busy intersections, highways and freeways, residential areas, construction zones, and parking lots all present unique risks.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Durham, be sure to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A Durham car accident lawyer knows how to protect your rights at every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today and let a personal injury attorney in Durham fight for the compensation you deserve.