February 18, 2014
When we get in a hurry the last thing we do is stop to slow down. Life moves at an extremely fast pace and so do our cars, making a couple of intersections in Albemarle County more dangerous than others.
Carter Johnson with the Albemarle County Police Department says, "we want people to slow down, pay attention, put the phone away and make sure they're focused on the road"
Some areas of town are seeing more police because they are considered high crash areas.
Take the northbound lanes of Route 29 and Ashwood Boulevard for example. Last year alone that intersection saw a rise in crashes from 30 in 2012 to 34 in 2013. 19 of those happened between 2 and 7 in the evening. 25 occurred Monday through Friday and 8 of the 34 accidents happened on Friday alone.
The majority of those accidents are rear-end, caused by driver inattention or distraction.
"A lot of cars are merging here from 4 lanes to 2. a lot of people speeding up and continue with that speed as they come over the hill an that can cause problems with cars stopped at the intersection" said Johnson.
It's estimated around 39 thousand cars roll through 29 near Hollymead on any given weekday. The roughly 4.3 miles between Rio road and Airport road definitely has the attention of authorities. You'll notice message boards and more officers running radar.
"A lot of times they think they're out of the city limits, can speed up and that's really not the case. there's still a lot of traffic and we see at lot of crashes at this intersection, " she said.
Another high risk area is the Richmond Road corridor between Rolkin Road and Interstate 64. Growth brings more people which leads to more accidents.
This area seeing 53 crashes in 2013. The break down is like this, Richmond road at Rolkin, 11. At State Farm Boulevard, 6. At Pantops Mountain Road, 6, Peter Jefferson Parkway, 11 and the most at both the I-64 entrances and exits, with 19 combined. With these stats, it wasn't long before messages boards hit the area and drivers hit the breaks, which Johnson said was very effective.
So how can you minimize your chances of being involved in an accident at one of these intersections?
Johnson recommends, "slow down and increase the distance between the care in front of you. That would significantly reduce the crashes we're seeing."
It is important to note the fatal accidents and high injury accidents happen in the rural parts of the county. Such as Garth Road, Thomas Jefferson Parkway, or Scottsville Road.
These accidents often have a combination of speed and alcohol involved