Study finds Northern Virginia interstate has worst traffic spot in U.S.

A stretch of I-95 has the dubious honor.

Congestion is a continual challenge for drivers in Northern Virginia. In September 2017, Seattle-based Inrix Research released a new study of traffic hotspots across the country. Not surprisingly, the Northern Virginia-D.C. area hits it out of the park.

The worst traffic hotspot is a 6.4-mile stretch of I-95 between Fredericksburg and the Fairfax County Parkway. On this part of the highway, traffic jams last on average 33 minutes and the research tallied almost 1,400 of them in March and April 2017.

Those of us who live here - especially D.C. commuters - will not be surprised by this finding. In fact, the D.C. metropolitan area overall ranks third for the number of hotspots, defined by Inrix as areas of "reoccurring traffic jams," behind only Los Angeles and New York.

At-fault accidents

Of course, fender benders and serious collisions are bound to happen in the stop-and-go movement of vehicles, but if negligence, recklessness or even illegal behavior like drunk driving or violating traffic laws cause such a crash, the at-fault driver will be liable for the damages caused to others. Potential victims include passengers of that driver, other drivers, passengers in other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and construction workers in work zones.

Safe driving practices in congestion

State Farm provides these tips to negotiate traffic jams in a safe manner:

  • Do not engage in distracting behaviors like eating, drinking or using cell phones.
  • Refrain from weaving between lanes.
  • Concentrate on the brake lights of vehicles ahead of you so you know when to slow down, can keep a safe distance and avoid abrupt stops.
  • Keep a distance between you and the car in front of you equal to three seconds of driving movement.
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots regularly.
  • Follow common-sense traffic laws. Use your blinkers when anticipating a lane change and merge carefully.
  • Use traffic apps and radio and television traffic news to learn about congested roads to avoid.

In addition, leave early so you are not tempted to try to hurry in heavy traffic and adjust your driving practices for safer driving in rain, snow or ice.

Seek legal advice

Anyone hurt in a collision in a traffic jam or congested traffic should seek the legal advice of an attorney to understand potential legal remedies like a personal injury lawsuit. Retaining a lawyer early will allow him or her to communicate with involved insurance companies on behalf of the client as well as launch a comprehensive investigation of the incident while evidence and memory are still fresh.

The personal injury lawyers of Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC in Fairfax, Virginia, represent clients throughout Northern Virginia injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. They also represent the survivors of those who have died in such accidents in wrongful death lawsuits.