What is a dangerous highway?

Even the safest highways can turn dangerous with construction and bad weather. Some highways, though, always remain risky because of their design.

Due to the geography of our State, West Virginia highways can present drivers with unique challenges and, at times, dangers. We live in a beautiful part of the country but that same beauty and the nature of our economy presents us with difficult construction and a high number of commercial vehicles on our roads. Here is a look at what can make a highway particularly risky.

Construction

The safest highway can turn dangerous when under construction. This can result from insufficient signage to warn drivers of workers and heavy equipment on the roads. It also means quite a few frustrated drivers as they realize their trips are extended. Other drivers can themselves present a danger. They may be talking on their cellphones or otherwise distracted. They may try to speed up to beat other cars through construction. Or, when forced to slow down some people in work zones take off their seat belts, which increases their risk of being hurt.

Weather

Constructions materials and debris left behind during road work can be a dangerous mix with the weather. if it has been a few weeks since a rain, then precipitation can turn road surfaces slippery when combined with oil and dust.

Poor maintenance

It is well documented that West Virginia highways are in desperate need of maintenance. Aside from potholes and other road defects, in winter some roads are not sanded or salted enough. The result can be devastating motor vehicle accidents.

Curves and drop-offs

Some roads are dangerous any time of the year just by their design. These highways often include sharp curves and steep drop-offs. For example, a 4-mile area on U.S. 33 was called "probably the most dangerous little stretch of roadway in West Virginia," by Del. Isaac Sponaugle after yet another tractor-trailer wreck in 2014.

Trucks

Trucks are a necessary part of our nation's economy. They transport goods such as logs across our State and assist in mining operations. However, they can also increase the risk to other drivers. They may add debris to the road or cause highway damage due to the extreme weight of their loads.

If you need help or have questions as the result of highway crash, whether it's from a construction mishap or a commercial vehicle wreck, call us at Akers Law Offices. We've dealt with these issues many times and can help guide you through this process.