BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) Officials say distracted driving is one the leading cause of accidents on road ways.

On U.S. 22 leading to the Veterans Memorial Bridge, there have been more than 50 crashes since July 2022.

This stretch of U.S.22 in Weirton, across the Veterans Bridge has become dangerous.

Crashes are frequent.

But why is it happening?

Brooke County Sheriff Richard Beatty says the reports show distracted driving and negligence are to blame.

“The accidents are ranging from little accidents, no injuries, very little damage to very serious accidents, with death. There are names in that paperwork there that are no longer with us.”

Sheriff Richard Beatty – Brooke County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Beatty says anything can happen in a split second when people are talking on cell phones, texting, speeding and not paying attention.

The Veterans Bridge is down to one lane on both sides.

Those construction zones and distracted driving are a disaster waiting to happen.

“We’ve all seen in our driving that when it comes to construction zones people will speed up and try to merge over at the last moment causing people to stop suddenly and if you don’t leave a lot of distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, you will get into an accident.”

Chief Charlie Kush – Weirton Police Department

Sheriff Beatty leaves drivers with this message.

“Think about how quickly your life can turn around with a traffic accident. As I said it could be a minor traffic accident or it could lead to death. As simply as sending a text message, taking your eye off the road for two seconds, could cause an injury or death and leave your loved ones devastated.”

Sheriff Richard Beatty – Brooke County Sheriff’s Department

He says slow down, pay attention, and give yourself more time to get to where you need to be safely, otherwise your car could be the next one totaled in an accident.

If you see distracted driving and want to report it you can call 911 or any non emergent number.