Ruling The Roads: Major Causes Of Automobile Accidents In Virginia And How To Avoid Them
Car crashes are the number one killer of Virginians under thirty. The Virginia Department of Transportation estimates that nearly a thousand people die on Virginia’s roads each year due to bad driving, adverse conditions, and failure of vehicle safety precautions.
Sadly, a large percentage of accidents are caused by avoidable human error. Driver distraction such as talking on a cell phone, eating and drinking, or adjusting the radio can cause a momentary lapse in concentration that quickly escalates into a dangerous situation. Drowsy driving is another deadly phenomenon, filling the roads with bleary, unresponsive drivers. Drowsy driving is a particular problem among truck drivers, who often push their bodies far past the limits of their endurance to complete a run. But all of these hazards pale beside the danger represented by intoxicated drivers. Alcohol affects vision and reaction time, making drunk drivers little more than accidents waiting to happen. In recognition of the danger posed by intoxicated drivers Virginia and other states have established Checkpoint Strikeforce, an initiative designed to simultaneously catch impaired drivers and educate the public about the incredible dangers of drunk driving.
Virginia Roadway Safety
Safety on Virginia’s roadways is also negatively impacted by adverse conditions. Rain, snow, and ice all increase the difficulty and danger of driving. In such conditions it becomes very important to slow down and give the cars ahead of you more room. This gives you more time to react if anything goes wrong. Avoid making sudden moves or sharp turns in inclement weather, as it is much easier to lose control of your vehicle. Work zones represent another serious hazard. Be careful and alert as you make your way through to keep both yourself and the workmen safe. If you feel that the area you’re driving in is unsafe due to road wear, pot holes, or other damage contact the Virginia Department of Transportation to report the problem.
The final factor affecting safety on Virginia’s roads is failure to follow general vehicle safety procedures. Seat belts are the most obvious and important example. Virginia’s “Click It or Ticket” program is designed to increase awareness about the enormous benefits of seatbelt use by penalizing those who fail to wear them. Proper safety restraints are not only necessary for you, but for your child as well. Child safety seats protect children from injury in a way that restraining devices designed for adults cannot. A properly-fitted, tightly strapped down child seat is absolutely necessary for safety. Child seats and inspections can even be obtained for free through many local programs seeking to help children avoid death and injury. Finally, a well-maintained car can prevent accidents and save lives. Don’t put off checking your tires and fluids as you never know when a responsive car could be the difference between a near miss and a devastating crash.
Once you know the three main factors contributing to auto accidents in Virginia, avoiding dangerous situations on the road becomes much easier. If we can improve our driving skills, adapt to adverse conditions, and maintain proper vehicle safety we can make the roads a safer place and put a stop to many unnecessary injuries and deaths.
Chris Guedri has been a personal injury attorney with the law firm of Allen and Allen for many years. His varied experience includes car accident cases, tractor trailer accident cases, bus accident cases, and defective product cases. His peers have recognized Chris’ excellence by listing him in the book Best Lawyers in America since 1995 and inducting him into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Virginia Business Magazine was also impressed, including him among its “Legal Elite Best Lawyers in Virginia.” You can find him on LinkedIn or Martindale.