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Traveling on New Circle Road: The risks in Lexington

If you're familiar with Lexington, then you've probably used New Circle Road. It's a road that circles around the entire city of Lexington, making it easy to get to almost any exit and where you need to go in a reasonable amount of time.

For the most part, there are no issues with traveling on New Circle Road when you're heading toward exits of higher numbers, but when you head into the north or eastern sides of the city, the roads become more complicated. There is a lot of stop-and-go traffic, which makes it much more difficult to avoid a collision. Add to this people who speed, a lack of enforcement and distracted drivers. You can see why there are crashes nearly every day, particularly between exits 14 and 19.

What can you do to avoid a serious crash in Lexington?

Planning for traffic is your best bet. If you need to travel to inner Lexington, Nicholasville or Tates Creek, you won't want to drive during the morning rush, lunch hour, the time when schools let out or at rush hour in the afternoon. During these times, the highway is so congested that getting stuck in delayed traffic is almost an inevitability.

Better times to drive include between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., 1 to 2 p.m. and after 6 p.m. At these times, you'll miss the initial rushes to get into or out of the city, making your trip much easier.

You may also want to consider taking alternative routes. To get downtown, you can travel on Richmond Road, for instance, if you're on the east side of town. If you are on the south end, take Nicholasville Road to the downtown area. Doing these routes instead, as an example, would get you off New Circle Road and help you avoid traffic. On the other hand, if you're heading to Fayette Mall from Exit 13, you might opt to take Winchester Road to Man O' War Boulevard, because Man O' War tends to be less congested than Nicholasville once you get past Hamburg Pavilion.

What should you do if you do crash?

With so much congestion, it's a good idea to move your vehicle off the roadway if possible. There are grassy medians, so you can get out and wait there or cross into one of several safer areas, like parking lots or grassy yards, that line the road. Inform the 911 operator if you plan to move from the crash site, so the police officers can speak with you directly where you are.

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