This is the busiest time of the year on the West Virginia Turnpike and State Police are urging motorists to exercise caution especially near the toll road’s three toll plazas.
"The main thing to remember is to slow down," First Sgt. D.A. Gunnoe said. "There’s a posted speed limit and they should adhere to it. Because what we’re doing is taking a high volume of traffic and constricting it to four or six lanes normally."
Last week a Beckley man was killed as he approached the toll plaza at Pax. State Troopers say a tractor trailer struck the rear of the man’s passenger vehicle causing it to hit another tractor trailer in the one of the toll plaza lanes. State Police are continuing their investigation.
First Sgt. Gunnoe says beyond slowing down well before the toll plaza all motorists should decide early which toll plaza lane they are going to use. He says last minute decisions can be costly.
"And once you get in that lane—if you think another lane is going to be quicker–just don’t make an abrupt change to another lane. That just causes too many accidents," Gunnoe said.
The 88-mile Turnpike from Charleston to Princeton is a major highway for commercial traffic. First Sgt. Gunnoe says that also has to be another consideration around toll plazas.
"These tractor and trailers cannot stop as easily as most of your passenger vehicles so you really have to exercise caution when you’re around these vehicles," Gunnoe said.
There are also numerous construction zones on the Turnpike this time of year.