Traffic accidents are a serious issue in Virginia, claiming 821 lives every year and injuring 69,130 people. Many times car crashes are the result of one or more driver errors or negligent behaviors, which means that many vehicular deaths and injuries can – and should – be avoided.
Aggressive driving, such as tailgating, honking, quick lane changes, speeding and any other dangerous behavior, is a contributor to car accidents in Virginia. Drivers in urban areas are especially prone to driving aggressively, where heavy traffic and the stress of commuting can push some over the edge.
Many drivers engage in distracted driving behaviors without even realizing it. Cell phone use, texting or emailing, eating, reading, applying makeup and other behaviors are forms of distracted driving. Studies have shown that some forms of distracted driving can increase the risk of an accident by up to 24 times, and that using a cell phone while driving has a similar effect to driving while intoxicated.
Driving while intoxicated is a problem that law enforcement officials and advocacy groups in Virginia have been fighting for a long time. Last year 354 people were killed in accidents involving a drunk driver and 7,000 were injured. The average BAC of drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol is 0.14, which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08. The majority of drivers caught driving while intoxicated are male, however recent reports have shown that the number of women driving while intoxicated has risen significantly over the years.
Speeding can be considered a form of aggressive driving, especially if accompanied by frequent lane changes, unsafe passing, tailgating, and other aggressive maneuvers. However, not all speeders are aggressive. Some, like teen drivers, just drive too fast for conditions. Speed is a major factor in car crashes because at higher speeds all vehicles take longer to stop, and the force of an impact is magnified by excessive speed. Injuries resulting from speed-related crashes can be very severe, and death is not uncommon.
Drivers who get behind the wheel when they are tired or under the influence of a prescription or over-the-counter medication that makes them drowsy are a menace to other road users. Drowsy drivers are dangerous because they can fall asleep at the wheel and cause a serious accident, or they can cause a crash because their reaction times are slowed and their judgment clouded from fatigue.
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, no matter what the cause you deserve justice and fair compensation. To discuss your auto accident case for no cost or obligation, please contact the lawyers at Whitehead & Chiocca today.