US 340 Bring Safety Concerns to Jefferson County

December 14, 2020

According to the Jefferson County Development Authority, the population of Jefferson County has increased by 30% since 2000 and is projected to double that over the next ten years. This growth makes Jefferson County part of the largest growing area in the state of West Virginia. Jefferson County’s location and the affordability of living there are seemingly attractive to commuters, especially from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 

Because of the increase in population, and mainly due to the volume of commuters moving to the area, the number of vehicles traveling on US 340 is starting to be of concern to local law enforcement and community members. In the last year alone, US 340 has seen upwards of 100 vehicle accidents and more than 400 during the previous three years.

Not only is Jefferson County part of the largest growing area in the state, but it also leads the state as having the most traffic volume without an interstate highway. For this reason, drivers in the region see a lot of traffic backups, sometimes a mile long. Traffic congestion is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle wrecks in the United States. This is a particular issue for new drivers, who may not be familiar with how to navigate their way through heavy traffic to their destination safely. To help you stay safe on the road to your destination, we have compiled a list of driving tips to prepare you for the drive.

  1. Be a Defensive Driver– Defensive driving means you are prepared to react to the unexpected, all while staying alert and maintaining a safe speed.
  2. Slow Down– when there are many vehicles on the road, it will naturally slow you down. However, some drivers may be tempted to try and drive faster to get out of traffic and avoid delays, and this can cause a crash. Remember to always be cautious. Obstacles can come out of nowhere.
  3. Don’t Weave– Rapidly switching lanes to try and get ahead of traffic is extremely dangerous. Other drivers cannot predict what moves you are going to make. Likewise, you do not know what other drivers are going to do. The safest move is to stay in one lane unless it is necessary to move.
  4. Use Indicators– While you should not be weaving in and out of lanes, you sometimes have to get over. Letting people know what you are doing is not only safe but will also make it easier for you when a driver lets you in front of them. It is always important to let other drivers know what you plan to do regardless of the amount of traffic.
  5. Plan Ahead– Proper planning can keep you from having to deal with heavy traffic altogether. A few variables to keep in mind include:
  • Weather – inclement weather (snow, rain, fog) can all lead to backups.
  • Road Construction – Know the areas with road construction so you can avoid them and keep your trip shorter and more enjoyable.
  • Events – Festivals, game days, holiday parades, etc., can cause heavier than normal traffic.
  • Time of day – Simply planning around rush hour (AM & PM) will lead to a much more enjoyable commute.
  1. Remove Distractions- It is never ok to talk and drive and worse to text and drive. Make sure you are always staying focused on the road. The average text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. With many other cars on the road, this small amount of time is enough to cause a significant crash. Avoid sending texts, checking emails, and even changing radio stations when in traffic. If you do have to send a text or make a call, get off the road first.

If you have been injured in a car wreck because of a negligent or suspected distracted driver, an experienced car accident lawyer can help. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with our car accident lawyers, contact Manchin Ferretti today at 304-264-8505.

 

 

 

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