It has been widely advertized that fatal traffic accidents are down in Virginia, and rightfully so. From 1,027 people killed in 2007 to 756 in 2009 to an estimated 721 in 2010, state and local authorities can be proud of their achievement, the result of thorough and patient work.
Most experts agree that three main factors have helped to bring the number of motor vehicle fatalities down:
- Efficient and regular campaigns against speeding, against driving under the influence, promoting seat belt use, and calling for car maintenance;
- Strict law enforcement and stiff traffic violation penalties;
- Safer motor vehicles.
There is no doubt that newer motor vehicles are considerably safer than those marketed seven or eight years ago. Frontal and side air bags, anti-lock brake systems, and electronic stability control now give vehicle occupants far better protection and, together with an increased seat belt use, have probably saved many lives.
How many people are injured in Virginia car crashes?
In 2009 in Virginia, if 756 people died in auto accidents, 44,285 motorists were injured. This is still a staggeringly high number, with 121 injured accident victims in the Commonwealth of Virginia every single day of the year.
Safer cars may prevent you from being killed, but the impact of a serious collision is such that you will get hurt notwithstanding seat belts and air bags. Safer cars may reduce the risk of roll-overs and rear-ending, but more drivers than ever are distracted by phone calls, emails, and texting.
Over the last ten years, the proportion of alcohol-related fatal accidents to total fatal crashes has remained at a very high 32 percent. This percentage is the same for Virginia and nationwide.
Moreover, of the 116,744 recorded crashes in 2009 in Virginia, over 30 percent were single-vehicle crashes that were in their vast majority caused by driver errors.
Among the above-listed major factors responsible for lessening traffic accidents should have been "better driver behavior," but we are not there yet.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia car accident, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today. You can discuss your accident case with one of our skilled and dedicated attorneys to see how we can help you secure fair compensation.