As the southeastern region of the U.S., Virginia is well-known for its mountains, woodland, coastline, historic sites, cities, and towns. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reported that more than 105,600 car wrecks happened in 2020. Because it has dangerous highways. Drivers should also note some frequently recurring reasons for collisions in the state. Staying sober and focused and driving at safe speeds can prevent the risk of car accidents. However, if you become the victim of negligence caused by another driver’s behavior, contact a professional lawyer to help safeguard your rights. This article focuses on the main factors that cause car accidents in Virginia. This could help people become more conscious while driving on Virginia highways.
1. Distracted Driving
Driver distraction continues to be one of Virginia’s leading precipitators of car crashes, just as it is nationwide. Any activity diverting a driver’s eyes, hands, or focus from the road substantially increases the risk of accidents. Visual distractions like looking at a phone screen and manual distractions such as texting are especially hazardous, but even mental distractions can be dangerous. Eating, grooming, adjusting vehicle controls, interacting with passengers, and daydreaming all contribute to distraction-related accidents every year.
Fortunately, in the instance of a car accident, Virginia car accident attorneys can play a crucial role in handling cases related to distracted driving. By leveraging their legal expertise, negotiating skills, and knowledge of Virginia’s legal system, car accident attorneys can be instrumental in helping victims of distracted driving accidents pursue justice and compensation.
2. Speeding and Aggressive Driving
Higher speeds leave less time to react, extend stopping distances, and increase crash severity. Speeding is a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in Virginia. Aggressive behaviors like hard acceleration, tailgating, weaving, unsafe passing, and road rage also contribute to many accidents annually.
Losing focus by rushing, ignoring speed limits, and taking unnecessary risks typically results in loss of vehicle control, collisions, and injuries.
3. Impaired Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs remains a key contributor to as many as 30 percent of Virginia’s traffic fatalities. Both illegal substances and prescription medications can impair coordination, judgment, focus, and reaction time, which are essential for safe driving. Detection and enforcement of impaired driving have increased, but there are still many cases where intoxicated motorists cause horrific crashes.
The safest choice is simply to never drive while intoxicated or ride with an impaired driver. For those who do consume alcohol or use other drugs, arranging alternate transportation, calling a rideshare, or asking a sober friend for a lift should be automatic choices. Taking steps to prevent impaired driving greatly improves safety for everyone sharing the roads.
4. Driver Inexperience
Per mile driven, teenage drivers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as more experienced motorists. This holds true in Virginia and across the U.S. Factors like impulsiveness, thrill-seeking, distractions, and a lack of skill put teens at higher risk.
Virginia’s graduated licensing program helps teens gain experience under lower-risk conditions, yet crashes remain the leading cause of death for young drivers. Extending learners’ permit tenure, limiting passengers, and setting night driving curfews can further reduce risks.
5. Drowsy Driving
Fatigued driving leads to thousands of crashes in Virginia annually, especially involving single vehicles running off the road or being overturned. Drowsiness impairs perception, focus, judgment, and reaction time almost identically to alcohol impairment. Long trips, odd hours, and sleep deprivation increase drowsy driving risks.
Staying more alert than you think you need to be is essential for avoiding fatigue-related crashes. Making time to rest, scheduling trips for optimal alertness, and stopping for short naps can improve vigilance. If you need to be more tired to drive, switch drivers or make other arrangements.
6. Weather Conditions
Rain, snow, ice, and fog exacerbate other accident factors in Virginia. Reduced visibility and traction require drivers to slow down, increase following distance, and stay vigilant. However, many motorists must adjust their speed and driving to compensate for hazardous conditions.
Limiting trips, using appropriate vehicles, and exercising extreme caution are imperative when bad weather hits. If driving feels unsafe due to the weather, waiting it out or using alternate transportation is best. Keeping vehicles well-maintained for good traction and visibility also helps improve safety.
Understanding and avoiding these common accident factors is crucial for drivers in Virginia. While the state sees thousands of crashes annually from these preventable causes, improved education, enforcement, and individual decision-making can help turn the trend around and save lives on Virginia’s roads. Exercising caution, making good choices, and implementing smart safety habits keep drivers of all ages crash-free.