Reports of accidents and wrecks on our county roadways are unfortunate occurrences that could be inflicted on any driver at any time. But, they are also instructional and cautionary items of information that we can all learn from.
One disturbing trend in Ashe and Watauga counties are the number of accidents and near-misses on U.S. 221 between Deep Gap and West Jefferson. Ongoing construction is one reason why. Weather — rain, black ice, snow, fog — is another. But what is mostly filling the wreck reports are issues of drivers unsuccessfully navigating the myriad u-turns and bump-outs placed strategically along that stretch of highway.
While these turnabouts are useful and necessary for those who need to enter or exit side streets or the convenience center near Fleetwood, the narrow, short, third-turn lanes and a speed limit of 50 or 55 mph depending upon the location of construction are unexpected and unusual patterns for many local drivers. Couple these with inattention, distractions, poor weather conditions and the result is what we have in our traffic reports today.
Again, wrecks and accidents are sad occurrences. But, if we don’t learn from them, the situation is sadder still.