It's only a tenth of a mile, but the stretch of Telegraph Road between North Kings Highway and the Alexandria city line could be the riskiest local traffic corridor in Northern Virginia.

That dubious distinction was based on an analysis of accident figures compiled by the American Automobile Association's Potomac chapter.

AAA also found six more high-risk accident corridors in Northern Virginia, and three in Maryland. Virginia's corridors generally were rated more hazardous than Maryland's, though the data were collected somewhat differently.

District streets were not part of the survey because officials there keep accident figures by intersection, not by street. Roads such as the Capital Beltway, Shirley Highway and Interstate 270 were not part of the corridor study because AAA wanted to concentrate on state and local roads.

AAA, which has 610,000 members in the Washington area, launched the accident corridor study this year to make people aware of trouble spots when they drive.

"Knowing what areas to avoid, if possible, and what to look for if you must travel on a dangerous route are two of the most important safeguards a motorist can take," said AAA's Robert S. Krebs.

The problem corridors are already known to highway officials in both states; some are being fixed or are scheduled for repairs.

Telegraph Road is one of those. Fairfax County is widening the area cited by AAA to six lanes and is supposed to be finished this fall.

Until then, that part of the road approaching the Capital Beltway had the highest accident rate of any studied in Northern Virginia in 1988, the most recent year statistics were available.

In fact, that location's accident rate was 14 times the state average and 10 times Northern Virginia's average, AAA said.

There were 36 accidents and 13 injuries on Telegraph between North Kings Highway and Alexandria in 1988. An average of 23,675 vehicles travel that stretch daily.

The other perilous corridor in Fairfax County is Seven Corners, or Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) from Route 50 to eastern Falls Church. That is third in the ranking.

In Arlington County, four corridors finished in the top 10: Route 237 (North 10th Street) between Route 50 and Wilson Boulevard, second worst; Route 244 (Columbia Pike) between Route 27 and Glebe Road, fourth; Route 29 (Lee Highway) between the eastern Fairfax limits and Route 237 (Washington Boulevard), sixth; and Route 120 (Glebe Road) between Shirlington Road and Columbia Pike, seventh.

In Prince William, the part of Route 234 (Dumfries Road) between Interstate 95 and Route 1, is the fifth worst corridor.

The worst Maryland corridor, which finished eighth in AAA's overall ranking, is the section of Route 228 (Berry Road) just west of Route 5 (Waldorf-Leonardtown Road) in Charles County.

AAA calculated the length of the road, volume of traffic and number of accidents to determine the ranking.



Junction with North Kings Highway to Alexandria city line

County: Fairfax

Length: 0.14 miles

Accidents: 36

Injuries: 13

Average daily traffic: 23,675

2. ROUTE 237 (N. 10th Street)

Between Route 50 and Wilson Boulevard

County: Arlington

Length: 0.78 miles

Accidents: 87

Injuries: 24

Average daily traffic: 14,300

3. ROUTE 7 (Leesburg Pike)

Between Route 50 and eastern Falls Church corporate limits

County: Fairfax

Length: 0.21 miles

Accidents: 27

Injuries: 11

Average daily traffic: 24,445

4. COLUMBIA PIKE (Route 244)

Between Route 27 and Glebe Road

County: Arlington

Length: 1.06 miles

Accidents: 135

Injuries: 60

Average daily traffic: 27,925

5. ROUTE 234 (Dumfries Road)

Between Interstate 95 and Route 1

County: Prince William

Length: 0.68 miles

Accidents: 27

Injuries: 17

Average daily traffic: 10,370

6. ROUTE 29 (Lee Highway)

Between Arlington/Falls Church boundary and Route 237

County: Arlington

Length: 0.18 miles

Accidents: 22

Injuries: 15

Average daily traffic: 29,560

7. GLEBE ROAD (Route 120)

Between Shirlington Road and Columbia Pike

County: Arlington

Length: 0.70 miles

Accidents: 68

Injuries: 42

Average daily traffic: 24,420

8. ROUTE 228 (Berry Road)

Between two-tenths of a mile west and three-hundredths of a mile west of Route 5

County: Charles

Length: 0.17 miles

Accidents: 12

Average daily traffic: 2,300

9. ROUTE 97 (Georgia Avenue)

Between one-quarter mile south of Owens Road and one-quarter mile south of Gold Mine Road

County: Montgomery

Length: 0.49 miles

Accidents: 20

Average daily traffic: 6,560

10. ROUTE 223 (Piscataway Road)

Between one-tenth of a mile north of Gwynndale Drive and five-hundredths of a mile north of Brandywine Road

County: Prince George's

Length: 0.41 miles

Accidents: 19

Average daily traffic: 5,600


All statistics are for 1988. No injury information was provided for Maryland corridors.