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Fatality statistics rose in Virginia in 2020 despite less driving

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2021 | Personal Injury |

For Virginians and people throughout the United States, 2020 was an unusual year. With the health crisis stoking fundamental changes in the way people live and work, it led to a radically different lifestyle. People also behaved differently when on the road. This combination of factors is believed to have contributed to surprising accident statistics. Drivers should be aware of the current landscape to avoid accidents. Those who have already been injured or lost a loved one may want to consider their options.

Virginia DMV says the commonwealth saw more road fatalities in 2020

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has assessed its initial statistics for auto accidents in 2020 and found that there were fewer accidents and injuries, but more fatalities. There were 2% more deaths while accidents reduced by 21% and injuries by 23%. It is believed to be due to drivers taking liberties with safety practices and the rules of the road. That includes speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence and not wearing seat belts. According to AAA, this was a problem throughout the United States. For example, in 2020, there was a 16% rise in fatalities because of speeding.

This was simultaneous to people being forced to work from home, children engaging in remote learning, leisure activities stopping and restaurants closing. Unsurprisingly, people drove far fewer miles in 2020. One estimate says that miles driven decreased by nearly half from the initial lockdown in April 2020. Road congestion radically declined and this seemed to give drivers the freedom to drive recklessly and disregard laws. In Richmond, hours drivers lost on the road dropped by 84%; Roanoke had a 28% drop. Law enforcement reported that there was a worrisome increase in incidents in which drivers were surpassing 100 mph. Speed accounted for an estimated 406 fatalities in the commonwealth. In 2019, there were 349. Across the board, accidents reduced, but had a worse impact with more deaths.

After an auto accident, it may be important to have competent advice

When there is a crash with personal injury and death, those who were harmed or lost a loved one should understand the possible problems they will face in the aftermath. Medical expenses, problems returning to the job they had before, a family needing to help a loved one who is unable to care for him or herself and other issues inevitably arise. After a fatality, the family will need to pay for funeral expenses and deal with the personal, financial and emotional challenges. Having advice and guidance from caring professionals can be essential in determining a path forward.