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Dangers Of Driving On The Capital Beltway & Washington, D.C.

The Capital Beltway that circles Washington, D.C., is a large, dangerous highway of multiple lanes, rushed, commuters, congested traffic, and sometimes speeding or reckless drivers. Car accidents, truck accidents, car accident injuries, and truck fires are all too common on this oft-used major throughway that the vast majority of D.C. residents use on a regular basis.

Made up of Interstate 495 and Interstate 95, the Capital Beltway loops around Washington, D.C., and travels through a number of Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Popular among commuters from the area who work in the city, as well as for those traveling up or down the east coast, the Capital Beltway is 64 miles long and consists of an inner and outer loop. Between the years of 1972 and 1992, almost the entirety of I-495 was widened to eight lanes: four lanes in either direction. The highway itself was completed in the summer of 1964.

Traffic congestion, traffic jams, and a high volume of vehicles on both the inner and outer loops of the Capital Beltway have been a problem almost since the road’s construction over forty years ago. Estimates say that about 225,000 cars use the Beltway each workday, with volumes increasing even more during holidays and summer months. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which spans the Potomac River, is especially known for traffic congestion, standstill and stop-and-go traffic, and long traffic delays. Some are considering widening the Beltway to 12 lanes in places, or to instate high-occupancy toll lanes to fight congestion.


To read more about the Capital Beltway, click here.