Have you ever wondered why Interstate 264 in the Hampton Roads area seems more dangerous than other roads or why accidents there are more severe? You’re not alone. Many Virginians and visitors have noticed the high rates of serious accidents along this busy highway, which serves as the east-west corridor connecting Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake. Let’s explore some of the factors that make I-264 one of the most perilous highways in Virginia and what you can do to keep yourself safe when traveling on it.
Interstate Accidents Are a Severe Safety Hazard in Virginia
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, about 18.4 percent of crashes statewide in one recent year occurred on interstate highways, along with 15.3 percent of all crash deaths for that year. Just what makes these major highways so dangerous? Consider the following factors:
- High Speed Limits: Interstates have some of the highest speed limits in the state, and with increased speed comes increased force in collisions.
- Traffic Congestion: More cars on the road means more chances for accidents, especially when drivers tailgate or drive aggressively.
- Distracted Driving: Actions like texting, making phone calls, or eating can divert a driver’s attention from the road.
- Merging Lanes: Merging into interstate traffic can lead to confusion and subsequent accidents if drivers are not careful.
- Multiple Lanes: More lanes mean more vehicles and a higher potential for lane-changing accidents.
- Variable Road Conditions: Weather, construction zones, and poor road maintenance are often unpredictable obstacles on interstates.
- Driver Fatigue: Long stretches of road can make drivers tired, reducing their ability to focus.
- Heavy Truck Traffic: Big rigs and other large commercial vehicles take up considerable space and are hard to see around, making them hazards to other drivers.
- Poor Signage: Inadequate or unclear signs can lead to last-minute exits or lane changes, causing chaos.
- Aggressive Driving: Speeding, cutting off other drivers, or acting erratically heightens the risk of accidents.
What Makes I-264 in Virginia So Dangerous
In addition to the typical factors that make driving on interstates dangerous, there are a few things specific to I-264 that make it especially risky for drivers, such as:
- Busy Interchanges: The intersections with I-64 and I-464 in Norfolk are notorious for congestion, making it difficult for drivers to merge safely or maintain a consistent speed.
- Tourist Traffic: As one of the main routes to Virginia Beach, I-264 experiences significant spikes in traffic during peak travel seasons, resulting in slower travel and a higher likelihood of accidents.
- Heavy Urban Traffic: Areas like Norfolk and Virginia Beach are densely populated, contributing to a constant flow of cars, buses, and trucks on I-264, increasing the number of accidents.
- Frequent Construction: The heavy traffic on I-264 means that it needs to be repaired and expanded regularly, which can lead to sudden lane closures and temporary signs that confuse drivers.
- Variable Speed Limits: I-264’s speed limits change in and around population centers, and failure to adapt can result in dangerous driving conditions.
Injured in a Crash on I-264 in Virginia? Deering Hedrick Can Help
The aftermath of an interstate accident in Virginia can be overwhelming. Medical bills are piling up, your vehicle needs repairs, and you may even be missing work. In these trying times, it’s essential to have someone in your corner fighting for your right to compensation from the person or people to blame. Hiring a personal injury attorney can significantly improve your chances of recovering the full amount you deserve. From gathering evidence to filing demand letters and other paperwork to negotiating with insurance companies, an attorney will handle the complexities so you can focus on what matters most: your recovery.