As the Interstate 81 corridor has grown to be one of the busiest roads in the region, many people are starting to get frustrated. Drivers have complained about the constant congestion and the number of accidents that occur on I-81.
There are a number of reasons why this is happening. Some of these include:
Those who work in the trucking industry know that drivers spend a great deal of time behind the wheel and often have little sleep. This can cause them to drive faster than they should, which is not a good thing when driving on an interstate.
Rolling terrain and construction zones also increase the risks of accidents. Motorists report seeing trucks racing downhill to regain speed and occupying more lane space than they would on flat ground.
A study in 2010 found that by diverting freight traffic off of I-81, it could be reduced by 40%. This would allow more time to be spent in transit and reduce the number of truck crashes and deaths.
VDOT should build more passing lanes along I-81, especially in the area between Salem and Roanoke. The current two-mile stretch between those cities is the most congested section of I-81 in the entire state, says Dave Covington, who oversees a program to improve the highway.
The best way to prevent accidents on interstate 81 is to follow the traffic laws and be aware of the road conditions. This means navigating safely, especially at night when light is not as strong.