A Year of Accidents and You (Part 3)
This is the third and final part 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 1 and part 2 from A Year of Accidents and You.
This is the third part of a three-part special series on accident trends in Virginia, and what drivers need to know to prepare. Check out the other parts for information about speeding, distracted driving, alcohol, and, of course, avoiding deer.
This final post covers the factors other than wildlife and behavior that most pose a risk to Virginia drivers. We include things to be aware of, places of highest risk, and details on how to prepare and what to keep in your vehicle, in case of an accident.
Other Factors of Crashes
Time of Year
Crashes are most frequent in February, May, August, October, and November.
During February road conditions are typically at their worst, and there’s a higher chance of losing control of your vehicle due to weather.
Traffic accidents start to spike every year in March. You guessed it! Spring break. Alcohol definitely plays a factor, but it’s also the beginning of summer, and road conditions start to improve around this time. People start driving less defensively as weather improves.
May sees a lot of accidents around Memorial Day weekend.
As we already mentioned, from late September through November the deer are most active.
Time of Day
Crashes are most likely to occur between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning, around lunch (between noon and 2:00 pm), and during afternoon rush hour. This makes sense because this is when people are most likely to be on the road
This is also when fatal crashes are likely to occur, so keep your guard up. Accidents during these times account for half of all road fatalities.
The other half of those accidents occur in the three hours between 8:00 and 11:00pm each night. This owes a lot to deer, poor visibility, and behaviour.
Location, Location, Location
Believe it or not, where you’re driving plays a big part in the likelihood you’ll be in an accident.
Of the 95 counties in Virginia you are 5-10 times as likely to have an accident if you live in one of these 8 counties:
- Arlington (DC)
- Chesterfield (Richmond)
- Fairfax (DC)
- Henrico (Richmond)
- Loudoun (DC)
- Prince William (Manassas)
- Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg)
- Stafford (Fredericksburg)
This makes a lot of sense, given that these are where the most people live. When driving in these areas, be a little more vigilant with your driving.
Of the high-population areas Arlington has the fewest accidents, which is pretty understandable (it probably has to do with The Pentagon being there).
How to Prepare
In addition to the advice we give you above, you should prepare for an accident by keeping a list of emergency supplies in your vehicle. Many auto parts stores and retailers carry vehicle emergency kits, or you can build your own.
Keep an accident checklist on hand in your vehicle, either in the glove compartment or in the first aid kit. Here’s a sample accident checklist.
What to do if you’re in a crash
- Take a breath and remain calm.
- Check yourself and others for injuries. Call 9-1-1 for an ambulance if in doubt.
- If able, move vehicles out of traffic, to a safe place, and activate hazard lights.
- Call the local police to report the accident.
- Do not leave the scene until you have exchanged information with other motorists, or the police release you from the scene.
This guidance is about your safety. Contact your insurer for guidance on how to submit a claim.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about what contributes to the crashes we see every day here at Warrenton Auto, or at least feel better-prepared to be safe and effective on the roads. We’re here to serve Virginia drivers, and make sure that when accidents do happen that you’re back on the road as soon as possible.
Remember, for accidents an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Come back for more tips and tricks and make sure your vehicle, and you, are prepared for the roads in all seasons of driving.