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Car Accident Prone Zones in Charleston, West Virginia

March 26, 2024

Certain intersections, highways, and roads throughout Charleston, West Virginia see more car accidents and injuries than others. The Charleston car accident lawyers emphasize the importance of residents and passersby being aware of the dangers in these problem zones so they can drive as safely as possible and reduce the risk of catastrophic injury or death.

Some Danger Zones in Charleston are Well Known

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) West Virginia Highway Safety Plan for fiscal year 2022, Kanawha County had the greatest number of motor vehicle accident fatalities, accounting for approximately 6.2% of all traffic deaths throughout the state. Kanawha County also had the greatest number of DUI arrests, with 700 individuals being arrested for driving under the influence. According to data from the Regional Intergovernmental Council (RIC), certain intersections in Charleston are more dangerous than others. These include:

  • MacCorkle Ave and 3rd St
  • MacCorkle Ave and 36th St
  • MacCorkle Ave and Montrose Dr
  • US-119 and Green Rd – Terry Rd
  • US-119 and Oakwood Rd

These intersections were identified by examining the number of collisions, how congested traffic was at the time of the accident, and the severity of each collision. Multiple collisions have occurred at each of these intersections.

West Virginia’s Roads are Poorly Designed

When multiple collisions occur at a given intersection, it is important to consider why. Oftentimes, these intersections are poorly designed, with a national transportation research non-profit group, TRIP, recently ranking West Virginia’s interstate bridges the most dangerous in the U.S. Whether there are not enough lanes of traffic, too many lanes of traffic, a lack of bicycle lanes or crosswalks, or even road marking signs that are difficult to distinguish, poorly designed roads throughout Charleston continue to cost taxpayers and personal injury victims hundreds of millions of dollars in economic damages.

Road Design Factors Impacting Safety

Identifying the factors that lead to multiple accidents at specific intersections is critical if we hope to do our part to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. Other common road design factors that could lead to an increase in the number of collisions in Charleston, WV intersections include:

  • Poor lighting
  • Poor median designs
  • Narrow lane width
  • Difficulty reading traffic signals
  • Lack of guard rails
  • Lack of rumble strips
  • Closed shoulders
  • Poor intersection design

How to Avoid a Car Accident at a Dangerous Intersection

The West Virginia Department of Transportation often receives funding for road improvement projects. These construction projects may be beneficial for the most dangerous intersections in the long run, but in the meantime, they can create even further risks due to the hazards of road construction work.

Whether you are a Charleston resident, visit the area regularly, or are simply enjoying a quiet vacation, it is critical to operate your vehicle as safely as possible if you hope to avoid a collision in some of West Virginia’s most dangerous car-accident-prone zones. You can do so by:

  • Maintaining enough stopping distance
  • Slowing down when going through intersections
  • Staying alert while navigating narrow lanes
  • Avoiding manual, cognitive, and visual distractions
  • Always using your turn signals
  • Remaining patient in busy intersections
  • Obeying traffic rules and regulations

These tips may help you to get through these dangerous roadways as safely as possible. In doing so, you may be able to do your part to reduce the number of collisions, injuries, and fatalities on Charleston, West Virginia roadways.