RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)- There may be no accidents on this day, but one stretch of highway seeing its fair share of crashes. According to DMV the number of crashes along Interstate 95 in Richmond and Henrico have spiked 9 and 15 percent from January to May over the same time last year.
“It’s a lot of heavy traffic. I think you have to be aware of it and alert,” says Paige McCleary of Richmond.
Dale Totten a traffic engineer with VDOT says there may be several factors leading to the rising numbers.
“That roadway carries heavy volume 24/7,” says Totten. “It is what we affectionately call the overlap it’s where 64 and 95 are the same route.”
From more vehicles on the aging structure to construction and drivers taking their eyes off the road.
“We do have a lot of active construction going on through the city,” says Totten. “It is our most challenging because it is physically constrained.”
While the number of crashes on I-95 in Henrico and Richmond have jumped. It’s a different story in Chesterfield and Hanover the numbers have gone down 26% and 16% respectively.
Richmonder Michael Romero tries to avoid 95 downtown at all costs.
“It is ridiculous,” says Romero. “When is there not traffic there when you’re trying to get home or go to work.”
He has his own theory why so many more people find themselves in wrecks.
Romero says, “Nobody is paying attention to driving these days. I do it as well sometimes. I’ll be the first one to tell you.”
With bridge construction and road maintenance expected to last on this stretch of highway for the next several months VDOT is urging all drivers to pay attention to workers and each other so you don’t become a statistic.
“It’s an active road,” says Totten. “Pay attention to what you’re doing. Focus ahead. Keep your eyes ahead give everybody a little extra space so everyone can get home safely.”