Road dangers are a growing problem across the United States with people being injured and losing their lives in auto accidents with a worrisome frequency. In Virginia – and particularly Southside Virginia – the chance of catastrophic damage is worse because of the configuration of the roads and that people need their vehicles to get back and forth at all hours.
One challenge that is being emphasized is speeding. The recent statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hammer home the importance of maintaining a safe speed. Still, many drivers tend to ignore the speed limits and this can cause a crash with terrible consequences.
Most recent numbers show spike in speed-related deaths
The NHTSA released its numbers for road fatalities and found that those connected to speeding were the worst since 2007. The numbers are the most recent accumulated statistics and were for 2021. They account for one in three road fatalities.
There were nearly 330,000 injuries and over 12,000 deaths due to speeding that year. The information was released as part of a safety campaign from the NHTSA. It hopes to show drivers who tend to speed – those 18 to 44 – that the risk is not worth it to them and others who share the road.
Researchers also discovered a connection between speed and alcohol use. This is a byproduct of the national crisis when the roads were emptier and people had greater freedom to drive faster and break other laws. This was true on interstates and in rural areas.
Increasingly, simply taking to the road in any way as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist is posing increased risk. That is due to speeding and other behaviors like distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drowsy driving and plain recklessness.
Even if people are fortunate enough to survive a collision, they could still face massive medical costs from a hospital stay, long-term injuries and problems getting back to work. This is especially troubling in blue collar areas where people might not have the option to work remotely or transition to a less strenuous job.
Knowing the options after any auto accident is vital
In Southside and the nearby areas, it is wise to have guidance after a vehicle collision. There might be a temptation to contact those who seem to have a more prominent presence in the state, but that often results in failing to get the direct attention necessary to accurately assess the case and devise a strategy.
Consulting with professionals who are not looking for a quick settlement unless it is in the best interests of the injured party and their family and knowing how to move forward at trial can make a major difference in a positive outcome.
The Southside area is unique in that there are many smaller, two-way roads that are poorly lit and do not even have lines separating the direction vehicles are going. The accident needs to be investigated with the configurations in mind. Critically, people who need assistance should know the value of consulting with experienced people who know the terrain and its residents.