The intersection of Lee Highway and Old Airport Road near Exit 7 on Interstate 81 has ranked as the top spot for car accidents in Bristol, Virginia since 2016, according to crash data. In that time, more than 150 property damage and 25 injury accidents occurred at that intersection.
Why is that intersection such a problem and what is being done to fix it?
Why do so many accidents happen at this intersection?
Traffic volume is largely to blame for the number of accidents at this intersection. Motorists traveling to a busy commercial corridor that includes Walmart and Sam’s Club pass through this intersection on the way to Lee Highway.
What is being done to reduce accidents?
The Bristol Public Works Department scheduled a project to replace the traffic signal and remove the bump that drivers cross from Clear Creek to Old Airport Road for the 2024-25 fiscal year. Officials hope removing the bump will prevent trucks from dragging in this spot.
Can the city or state be liable for dangerous road conditions?
The city or state that is responsible for maintaining a public roadway may be liable for accidents, if one or more parties involved can prove that it failed to correct dangerous road conditions, such as traffic light malfunctions, within a reasonable time frame. Additionally, the government may sometimes be liable for dangerous conditions caused by poor intersection design.
The primary responsibility of practicing safe driving in intersections rests with drivers. However, if you believe a poorly designed or maintained intersection is to blame for your car accident, you may have a case against the city or state agency responsible for maintaining the roads.