As the number of motorists on the road increases, so has the frequency of death due motor vehicle accidents. In 2007, Virginia experienced its first motor vehicle fatality count of over 1,000 in almost two decades. This number was a grim reminder of the necessity for safe roads, and safe driving. Since this statistic was released in 2007, Virginia has been active in reducing the number of traffic accidents, and implementing plans to ensure that their motorists are safe and secure while traveling their state roads. As a result of this plan, the number of traffic fatalities has surpassed 800 only once in the following years.
Virginia officials and safety advocates are optimistic as to the reduction in traffic fatalities, and point to increased safety standards and safety trends as a result of the drop. Since the 2007 statistic, the State has been working towards stricter licensing requirements for younger drivers, increased enforcement of DUI laws, and advocating for seatbelt use, safer roads, and safer vehicles. This plan has accounted for not only a reduction in fatalities on Virginia’s roads, but also a decrease in severe injuries, with the number of severe injuries falling yearly, with average number of miles driven staying the same.
Although the effectiveness of the plan cannot be denied, Connie Sorrell, a spokesperson for the Virginina Department of Transportation (DOT) says that the number of deaths on Virginia roads is still too many. The DOT is looking for more efficient means of accident site management, increased training for crash responders, and a more comprehensive highway safety plan.
Highway and roadway safety is something that all motorists can become more aware of, and do their part to ensure all those on the road arrive to their destination alive and unharmed. Staying alert on the roads, wearing a seat belt, obeying all posted traffic signage, and not texting or participating in other distractions while driving, will ensure that both you and those around you, have a safe and enjoyable trip.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, whose attorneys work out of offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, Eastern Shore Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service.