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Thousands of crashes reported on busy Winston-Salem highway over last 5 years

Piedmont Triad News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — There have been almost 5,000 crashes in the last five years along U.S. 52.

The well-traveled highway in Forsyth County sees over 50,000 cars a day. However, not everyone enjoys driving it.

“52 sucks,” said Pete Mitros. He takes U.S. 52 to get to work every day. It’s the quickest way for him to get there.

“It’s not a big enough road for one. Too much traffic, dangerous,” Mitros said.

Other people say that their opinion of U.S. 52 depends on the day.

“Some days, it’s pretty hectic. But then other days, it’s pretty smooth,” Demarcus Bradley said.

If you feel like you’ve seen more crashes on the highway lately, you’re right.

“In a short window of time, we did have a couple significant crashes on 52. We had, unfortunately, two fatalities really close together,” said Lt. John Morris with the Winston-Salem Police Department.

Two people died in November along U.S. 52. The accidents caused hour-long delays on the highway, but Lieutenant Morris says Traffic Enforcement is not seeing an uptick in crashes overall.

“The main thing is what we’re seeing on the freeway is people following too closely, people changing lanes and not paying attention, people speeding, and that’s typically what we see for causes,” Morris said.

Those common distracted driving habits ramp up during the holidays. Every year, from 2017 to 2020, November is the month with the highest number of crashes.

“Our freeways and our highways through the city really get congested during holiday time starting today through Sunday. We’re going to see a lot of congestion, and we just urge the public to increase your following distance,” Morris said.

Morris believes the beltway project on the eastern side of the county will help alleviate some of the traffic issues along U.S. 52.

N.C.D.O.T crews will start working on a portion of the highway near Rural Hall at the beginning of December, realigning and correcting the roadway to prepare for future beltway construction.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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