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Virginia Beach, Chesapeake & Suffolk, Virginia

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Rick Shapiro
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Making Accident-Prone Streets in Hampton Roads Safer

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New research by Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) combed over data to come up with different ways to evaluate Hampton Roads’ most accident-prone intersections and freeways. The analysis evaluated the potential for reducing the number of accidents at hundreds of locations while offering alternate fixes for the highest-ranking freeways and intersections.

“The work can help cities to obtain funding for road improvements by showing where the money can make the greatest impact,” said Sam Belfield, an author of the study.

Hampton Roads Crash Facts

The analysis determined that the road with the most to benefit is eastbound Interstate 64 from Northampton Boulevard to Interstate 264; which is known to be among the regions’ most notorious for serious crashes. It also found that particular stretch had more than 127 more accidents annually than would have been predicted, based on traffic volumes and number lanes among other factors.

There were 221 accidents which involved 73 injuries in 2012.

The most common contributing driver behavior was tailgating, according to the study. In all, tailgating accounted for nearly 71 percent of all accidents there between 2009 and 2012, compared to a regional freeway average of 46 percent.

The study further suggested the addition of a third lane to exit to I-264 by re-striping the road which could be beneficial but not as quickly done as one might think. Also mentioned were electronic signs which would work to warn drivers of backups and lastly extending an on-ramp as well as replacing an overpass.

When it came to intersections, Virginia Beach had five of the top 10 spots with the most potential for safety improvement.

Holland Road at Rosemont Road was at the front of the list, with an estimated 28 more accidents per year more than it should. The city proposed major intersection improvements there as a capital improvement project.

As Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys who represent accident victims, we sincerely hope that these studies will eventually help reduce the number of serious accidents in this region. Far too many people have their lives turned upside down in preventable auto accidents. These wrecks can have devastating consequences, so the fewer the better.