Drunk driving crashes are to blame for approximately a third of all deaths relating to traffic injuries. In Virginia, as elsewhere, the motorists who are most susceptible to drunk driving crashes are drivers under 24, motorcyclists, those with prior DUI convictions and those who combine alcohol consumption with drugs or medications.
Some Virginia drivers may have heard about external airbags. While the technology is a long way from being perfected, much less implemented on new vehicles, its benefits are clear and may encourage more car parts manufacturers to consider it. One of these manufacturers, the ZF Group, has found that in the event of a side impact crash, external airbags could reduce occupants' injury severity by as much as 40 percent.
During the holidays, thousands of Virginia drivers take road trips to see family and friends over a few weeks. Here are some important winter driving tips to help ensure a safe journey.
Driving on Virginia roads can always present a danger, especially when inexperienced drivers are involved. For National Teen Driver Safety Week, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released new statistics about severe accidents and fatalities that involve teen drivers. According to the study, the fatality rate for people involved in a crash increased by 51 percent when teen drivers were carrying only other teens as passengers.
Driver assistance systems can cut down on car crashes by 40 percent and crash fatalities by 30 percent, according to federal estimates. Yet they can backfire when drivers become too complacent with them. Virginia residents should know that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report about this trend that affects many drivers.
There are probably many parents in Virginia who are wondering how they can help their teenage children improve their driving skills. Or perhaps one of their teens has been referred to a driver's risk education program by a court or school administrator. They will want to know about a Baylor University study that considers one such program in Texas; the results have a wide-ranging application.
Distracted driving claimed almost 3,500 lives around the country in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but many road safety advocates say that government accident statistics greatly underrepresent the problem and the true death toll is actually much higher. The recent surge in distracted driving accidents and deaths is often blamed on cellphone use, but eating, talking to passengers, adjusting entertainment systems and lighting a cigarette can be just as dangerous for Virginia motorists and their passengers.
Many Virginia drivers know of specific intersections that are frequently the site of serious traffic accidents, especially in some of the more rural areas of the state. Because they receive lower traffic density than urban areas, some rural intersections may be marked by only a stop sign. At the same time, however, they may have high speed limits with cars legally traveling at up to 55 mph. This means that despite the low traffic density, when an accident does happen, it can be severe or even deadly. The problem is exacerbated at night, in bad weather or when visibility is obstructed due to bushes, trees and vegetation.
Independence Day is the deadliest day of the year when it comes to fatal car accidents, according to both Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They also claim that 40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk drivers between June 30 and July 4. This five-day period sees about 200 traffic deaths every year. Drivers in Virginia will want to be extra careful, then, if they plan on traveling during the holiday.
Individuals who are involved in car accidents in Virginia should keep a few things in mind. First, there is an obligation that the parties involved in a car accident stop at the scene. This is true even if the parties believe the accident didn't cause any damage. Regardless of the circumstances, a person who is in a car accident should not admit responsibility for the crash at the scene. Car insurance contracts often contain clauses prohibiting the insured from admitting liability or responsibility at this point.