East Alabama residents concerned about safety on Highway 431

East Alabama residents concerned about safety on Highway 431

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Roadway safety is always a concern, but after a crash killed a man in Phenix City this week, it’s time to start a discussion about safety.

The fatal accident at the intersection of 431 and Alabama 165 earlier this week isn’t the only time a crash on this road has left someone dead.

Unfortunately, accidents, even fatal ones, are somewhat of a regular occurrence for people in this area.

“Just hearing someone losing their life, just the frequency of it, it just really bothers me," Carol Roberts said.

U.S. Highway 431 runs from South Alabama all the way to Kentucky. But a particular stretch in Phenix City has some people worried.

“It happened so fast," Roberts said. "I know I was looking, but as I was almost across the road. I just got hit. Goodness, I would say almost weekly I see something.”

Phenix City police report in 2019 alone, Highway 431 saw more than 70 accidents on the so called ‘highway to hell’ just within city limits. Seven of those accidents were deadly.

Roberts said the problem lies partially with the traffic system and partially with drivers.

Alabama State Trooper Benjamin Carswell said most accidents can be avoided.

“Anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving, takes your eyes off the road is a danger," Carswell said. "If you’re traveling down the roadway and you’re distracted by a cell phone or passenger or any other item, and you get into a crash, unfortunately there are crashes that result in fatal injuries.”

Roberts’ ideas for improvement include reducing the speed limit, eliminating the flashing yellow turn signal, and encouraging drivers to be more patient.

“Hopefully it can help save someone’s life or apparently save some auto claims, medical bills, and things," Roberts said.

It’s startling to hear about seven deadly accidents within Phenix City alone. Imagine how many more there are on the whole stretch of this road.

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