This VDOT study says, as I read it, that Interstate 81 is not in bad shape - yet. Among other things, the overall average speed is 69 mph, more than the speed limit anywhere in Virginia. The "weighted crash score" (whatever that means) for Interstate 81 is lower than the statewide average for interstate travel - the other interstates being 64, 66, 77, 85, and 95.
I drove up to Harrisonburg on Thursday and back on Friday and there were not too many tense moments. Way back when, I drove frequently from Williamsburg to McLean, and once you got to Fredericksburg, it was just a free-for-all. The big trick in driving on interstate out here in the hills is figuring out how to get out of the way of the trucks blasting down the downslopes.