Speed Limit Reduction is Announced in I-64 Work Zone in Newport News
By Jim Hurley, Newport News Auto Accident Lawyer
Excess speed is a significant cause of many accidents on Interstates and the stretch of I-64 in northern Newport News is one of the most accident-prone stretches of road.
I was interested to read about how the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has announced it is set to be lowering the speed limit on Interstate 64 between Jefferson Avenue and Yorktown Road from Jan. 18.
The speed on the interstate is being reduced to 55 MPH in that area as a part of the state’s ongoing I-64 widening project. VDOT revealed that the left travel lane has been slightly narrowed and lane closures are part of the project. This stretch of road has been a notorious bottleneck for decades and state highway leaders hope the additional lanes will ease the congestion. However, the road improvements will inevitably cause some delays.
VDOT says from Sunday-Thursday there will be east and westbound single-lane closures from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day.
Motorists are advised by VDOT to obey the reduced speed limit and drive with caution when traveling in the construction area. More information about the project can be found at http://www.i64widening.org.
Construction zones are notorious places for accidents because drivers often fail to obey signs and slow down in time. Every year there are thousands of accidents in construction zones.
The U.S. Department of Transportation states that in 2010, there were 87,606 crashes in work zones. This represented 1.6 percent of the total number of roadway crashes (5,419,345) over the course of the year.
Fatal accidents are not very common in work zones but there have been some very serious ones that have involved tractor-trailers. In 2010 work zone crashes, 0.6 percent were fatal crashes, 30 percent were injury crashes, and 69 percent were property damage only crashes.
There were 37,476 injuries in work zones in 2010. This equated to about one work zone injury every 14 minutes (over 102 per day), or about four people injured every single hour. In the same year there were 514 fatal motor vehicle crashes in work zones.
You should slow your speed when you are driving in a work zone and look out for workers and obstructions that can cause crashes such as orange cones.
My colleague John Cooper wrote this detailed analysis of work zone accidents in Virginia last year. If you have been injured by a speeding or a careless driver in a work zone or elsewhere, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.