As Virginia and other states continue to raise speed limits, roadway safety groups grow more concerned. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety determined approximately 37,000 more people have lost their lives in accidents due to raising the speed limit.
Fall weather can lead to unpredictable conditions on the road. A sunny, clear day can change in a matter of moments to cold and rainy. With shorter fall days, drivers are more likely to find themselves driving in the dark, which can be more dangerous than daytime driving. To stay safe on the road during fall driving, drivers should prepare for potential hazards like sun glare, frost and fog.
Most Virginia drivers are peripherally aware of the risks of being involved in a car crash although they seldom let it concern them. While statistically, the average driver will have several accidents during their driving lifetime, the roads are generally becoming safer each year. However, a specific area of highway safety has drawn the attention of officials and is one that all drivers should be acutely aware of every time they get behind the wheel. Incidents of road rage are increasing dramatically, often with serious and sometimes fatal results.
Automated features are becoming more popular among drivers in Virginia and across the country. Many features aim to reduce dangerous traffic accidents by introducing greater levels of computerized alerts, controls and warning systems. According to one study released by GM, these features can have a significant impact on reducing crashes. Commonly called advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), these technologies include lane change alerts, blind-spot detection, collision alerts and rearview cameras as well as advancements in braking systems.
In 2017, the latest year for which complete crash data exists, there were 939 deaths caused by drivers who ran red lights. Virginia residents should know that this marks a 10-year high. The numbers may be getting even higher, too, considering how distracted driving is becoming a widespread phenomenon.
Those who drive on roads and highways in Virginia while fatigued could be putting themselves and others in danger. A tired driver is three times more likely to get into an accident compared to someone who is adequately rested. Furthermore, a person who has not slept in 20 hours will have the same level of impairment as an individual with a blood alcohol content of .08%. According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 20% of participants acknowledged falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year.
The Subaru Crosstrek is a popular vehicle for drivers in Virginia, and it's easy to understand why. The mini SUV is affordable and fuel-efficient, and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the 2019 model its top safety rating. However, according to Insurify, an auto insurance comparison website, the Crosstrek also bears the distinction of being the most-crashed vehicle in the U.S.
Thankfully, most car accidents in Virginia are minor and don't lead to any major physical injuries or property damage. However, as things are not always what they appear to be, it is best to be cautious and follow a certain protocol after an accident. It's important to note that the term 'car accident" is somewhat misleading. An accident implies an incident where no one is to blame, yet the vast majority of crashes are caused by the carelessness of one of the drivers involved.
Truck drivers in Virginia are probably no stranger to random inspections. They should be aware, then, that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced a date for its annual brake inspection spree. Brake Safety Week will take place from September 15 to 21 and will encompass all of North America.
It is essential that drivers in Virginia and elsewhere do all they can to eliminate distractions on the road. Distracted driving crashes led to 3,166 deaths in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the number may, in reality, be higher. To reduce distractions, one must know what they are.