A Year of Accidents and You (Part 1)

  • Feb 17, 2016
  • Resources & Tips

This is part one of a three-part special series on accident trends in Virginia, and what you need to know to prepare so you can avoid them.

Here’s part 2 and part 3 from A Year of Accidents and You.

We see a lot of accidents, most of which are avoidable.

Virginia drivers need to be aware of the dangers of driving, the biggest risks and threats on the road, and what they can do to make driving – and vehicle repairs – a more enjoyable experience.

We’ve put our experience together with crash facts from the Virginia State Department of Motor Vehicles to give you a thorough overview of accidents in a year, and what you can do to avoid them. We’ve listed the risks of the road by category to make it easier.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll release additional parts to this post, expanding on things Virginia drivers need to know to stay safe and minimize their risk of collision.

The Big Picture

Virginia has 5,892,082 licensed drivers, and in 2014 there were justz over 120,000 accidents. That’s one crash for every 48 drivers, or about 2% overall. It doesn’t seem like a big number, but nearly 700 people were killed, and over 63,000 injured driving on Virginia roads.

Accidents happen, and they can (and will) happen when you least expect them. Of all the accidents that happened in 2014:

  • 96% of drivers affected hadn’t had a drop to drink.
  • It wasn’t the car or truck they were driving (96.2% had no defect with the vehicle).
  • 86.4% occurred when there was no adverse conditions – it wasn’t snowing, raining, or windy.
  • 60% of crashes involved more than one vehicle.
  • Almost half happened when the driver was going straight (45.7%), in daylight (59.01%), and when no driver had committed a violation (45.2%).


Deer, specifically…

We see a lot of collision with deer. These accidents are almost always front-end damage and are most likely to happen in the early morning and late at night, when the deer are active. These accidents is highest in number in fall during mating season; deer are most active before and after the rut, which usually happens around the third week of October. Crash facts support this, and we see the highest number of collisions with animals through September and into the first week of November.

How to beat it: These repairs can be very expensive. Avoid unnecessary collisions with deer by ensuring your lights are clean and working properly, your tires are new or have decent tread depth, and that your washer fluid is topped-up.

You can try a product like these deer whistles, but there are no guarantees they work. Sometimes conditions and visibility mean that collisions with deer will happen. First and foremost, make sure your headlamps and windshield are clean, and that you’re paying attention to the road and your speed. The more aware you are, the more likely you are to avoid a collision

Avoid driving when tired or distracted. In 2014, 312 people died when their vehicle went off the road. A fair number of these occurred when people swerved to avoid deer. Keep your eyes on the road.

In the next release of A Year of Accidents and You we cover which behaviors pose the biggest threats to Virginia drivers, and what to do to beat them.

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