Fatal Crash on Route 58 in Virginia Highlights Rural Road Dangers
Virginia’s rural roads can be challenging places to drive in the winter. They are dark and often wet and slippery. Motorists who crash may find themselves many miles away from the nearest E.R. with poor cellphone coverage. A recent fatal crash on Route 58 in Virginia highlighted the hazards.
Four people died in a crash with a tractor-trailer in Southampton County in October. Police said a passenger vehicle rear-ended the big rig. NBC News reported speed was a factor in the wreck that killed four young people from North Carolina.
Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of the fatal crash on Route 58 in Virginia.
U.S. Route 58 is an east-west highway that runs more than 500 miles from Tennessee to U.S. Route 60 in Virginia Beach. It’s a major transportation artery but it also carries a lot of local traffic. Route 58 is hazardous in places and is the scene of many serious and fatal accidents. It has been the subject of safety studies and improvement plans for decades but remains narrow and hazardous in many locations.
Why is Route 58 in Virginia So Dangerous?
Many drivers make long distance trips on Route 58. They return from the coast or head east late at night after a long drive. Fatigue is an issue on long, rural highways like Route 58. The highway is also hazardous because it is used by many tractor-trailers heading east or west. The road is undulating in places, meaning you can suddenly approach a big rig or a slow-moving farm vehicle without realizing it. Motorists often speed on Route 58 because it has a big highway feel, even though the maximum speed limit on Route 58 is 60 mph.
Emporia is a notorious speed trap. Often drivers who get on Route 58 from I-95 in Emporia treat it like an interstate.
During the winter months, Route 58 is an inhospitable road to be on. It is frequently hit by rain and gets a dusting of snow. It also has many stretches with few places to stop and pull over for a coffee.
October’s fatal crash on Route 58 was the latest deadly wreck on the highway. Fatal accidents occur regularly on Route 58 in Suffolk. In April, the 56-year-old driver of a Jeep lost his life when he was hit by a tractor-trailer at the entrance to the Southeastern Public Service Authority landfill, the Suffolk News-Herald reported.
Tractor-trailers and smaller vehicles are a dangerous mix on Route 58 and Route 460 in Suffolk. Crashes on both highways made Suffolk the most deadly city in Hampton Roads in 2017.
Where are the Most Deadly Roads in Virginia?
Rural Sussex County has the most hazardous roads in Virginia. Although far fewer lives are lost here than in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, statistically accidents are more likely to be fatal. Numerous accidents between tractor-trailers and smaller vehicles on Route 460 push up the death toll in Sussex County. In 2018, the county recorded 283 accidents and 7 deaths. Its death rate of 1.18 per 1,000 drivers was the highest in the Commonwealth, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT’s) Crash Facts report.
Speeding is a growing problem in Virginia. In 2018, speed-related crashes rose by 8.1 percent to 25,892. Last year, 339 deaths were attributed to excess speed in Virginia, a 6.6 percent rise over 2017. Of these deaths, 192 occurred on rural roads.
Hampton Roads has many dangerous rural roads. In 2014, four occupants of a car died when the driver veered off Sandbridge Road in Virginia Beach, overcorrected and was hit by a pickup truck. Sandbridge Road is notoriously winding. The driver who caused the crash was reported to be over the drunk driving limit.
Talk to a Virginia Injury Lawyer About Accidents on Rural Roads
Virginia has thousands of miles of rural roads. They can be deadly for drivers, particularly in the winter months when a second’s lapse of concentration can cause an accident. If you or a family member has been injured on a country road or elsewhere in Virginia, please contact our experienced car accident team as soon as possible. We help accident victims in Hampton Roads and further afield in rural Virginia.