Just because there is a very famous song about the splendor of roads in West Virginia does not necessarily make road travel in the Mountain State safe for motorists. In fact, with major changes in elevation across the state and several urban centers that experience high levels of traffic, West Virginia actually has some very dangerous country roads.
Interstates and highways, including routes through rural areas, are often among the most dangerous roads in West Virginia. When specifically looking at fatal collisions, there are some streets that are far riskier than others. What do deadly crash statistics indicate are the most dangerous roads in West Virginia?
Six roads are more dangerous than most others
When looking at crash data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2000 and 2019, six roads saw far more deadly crashes than any other streets in the state. The most dangerous road in the state is I-81 between Exit 8 and Exit 13, where there were 31 deaths during the review period. Near Princeton, I-77 is particularly dangerous, with 27 reported traffic deaths in 22 crashes. US-60 reported 25 deaths during those years, while WV-16 and I-64 in Beckley saw 23 and 22 fatalities respectively. Finally, US-50 near Salem had 19 deadly crashes with 24 reported fatalities.
What happens after a major wreck?
Even if motorists intentionally avoid the streets with the highest number of deadly crashes, they could still experience a wreck that puts them in the hospital and leaves their vehicle unsafe to drive. Crashes often lead to insurance claims, as those injured and trying to cover their expenses will use the liability coverage of the person at fault for the wreck.
Occasionally, especially if a crash causes a fatality, insurance coverage will be insufficient to fully compensate people for their losses, and the people involved in the crash may need to consider a personal injury lawsuit instead of just a basic insurance claim. Of course, it is always better to avoid a crash instead of making a claim after one, so drivers may want to be extra cautious if they have to travel on any of the six roads that see the most collisions in West Virginia.
Tracking collision reports and statistics can potentially help motorists reduce their risk when traveling. With that said, it is important to drive as safely and defensively as possible, even when navigating a particularly “safe” route.