These areas of Colonial Heights experience the highest number of car crashes


COLONIAL HEIGHTS – When it comes to having a car accident, it’s usually about ‘when’, not ‘if’.

The auto insurance industry claims that the average driver files an insurance claim about once every 18 years. Nerdwallet estimated in 2020 that the average Virginian will pay 50% more for insurance each year if they cause an accident.

The typical Colonial Heights household owns two cars and commutes about 23 minutes during the work week. Southpark Mall also regularly attracts a number of motorists from neighboring areas.

With all this traffic on the local roads, where should you be the most careful while driving? The Progress-Index looked at cluster data from the Virginia Department of Transportation showing the areas where crashes are most common.

Deaths from road accidents were quite limited during the period. The seven recorded vehicle-related deaths were spread across neighborhood streets, I-95, and the busiest side streets with no apparent trend in location. Of those seven deaths, five involved impaired drivers.

But where do accidents happen most often?

Southpark Boulevard, near South Avenue

This might not come as a surprise to city residents who frequent the area. The hallway at the south end of Southpark Boulevard is very busy. It drives drivers from the city’s shopping center to or from the freeway.

This section has several entrances and exits for shopping centers and businesses. All four overland roads have a turn lane that often requires drivers to cross oncoming traffic. At its busiest, the roadway here can have non-stop cars coming from either direction.

Of the high traffic cluster samples examined, this showed the highest total number of accidents – 144 over the 5-year period. Fifty-three of these crashes resulted in driver injuries.

The roundabout

No story about both traffic and Colonial Heights would be complete without the Temple Avenue roundabout. Completed in 2017, it might be the most hated structure in the whole city. Residents often say they think the roundabout is more dangerous than the three-lane junction it replaced because drivers crossing it don’t know when to stop and when to keep driving.

Cluster data only provides figures going back to 2016, one year before construction of the roundabout began. During this period, the number of accidents decreased slightly, but not substantially.

In 2016, there were a total of 26 crashes at the intersection. He then had an average of 20 accidents over the next 4 years. However, accidents there are 10% less likely to cause injury compared to the city average.

Since the construction of the roundabout, the number of accidents with injuries has fallen to 2.6 per year (compared to 9 in 2016).

Although accidents are less dangerous, the large number of collisions still justifies designating the roundabout as a place where drivers should exercise caution. Since 2016, the region has experienced 107 accidents in total, of which 21 resulted in injuries.

Boulevard at avenue du Temple

The section of US Route 1 called Boulevard in Colonial Heights, intersects with Temple Avenue on the east side of the city. It is one of the two main outlets for drivers using the roundabout to exit or enter I-95. It becomes congested with drivers returning home from the freeway, or when travelers stop to buy gas and food. This stretch of road is one of the busiest in the city (22,000 cars per day – the highest non-interstate is 30,000).

This cluster area also includes the areas just north and south of the intersection of Boulevard with Temple Ave. Like Southpark Boulevard, drivers here should be wary of cars entering and exiting area malls. The intersection itself has also been a hot spot for accidents.

Overall, this section of the boulevard has experienced a total of 88 accidents over the five years. Twenty-six of these accidents resulted in injuries.

I-95 in South Colonial Heights

Interstate highways generally produce a higher number of traffic accidents due to the large number of cars that use them each day. Although I-95 is experiencing this increase in traffic, cluster data shows that these crashes are most severe on the roadway near the Southpark Boulevard viaduct to the city’s border with Petersburg.

This section of road had a total of 84 accidents from 2016 to 2020 with 28 accidents causing injuries. One in three accidents in this area resulted in injuries to those involved.

You can reach Sean Jones at s[email protected]. Follow him on @SeanJones_PI. Follow the Progress-Index on Twitter at @ProgressIndex.

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