Deaths and Injuries Caused by Drunk Drivers in Virginia Rose in 2018
Highway safety experts have been preoccupied with the rise in distracted driving crashes in recent years. They have even predicted texting and cellphone use will replace drunk driving as the biggest menace on our roads. However, statistics from 2018 found deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers in Virginia rose last year.
In the same year, the number of deaths and injuries attributed to distracted driving fell. The number of distracted driving fatalities plummeted by 39 percent from 208 to 126 from 2017 to 2018.
The figures don’t reveal why drunk drivers are claiming more lives and injuring more people. The recently-published Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Crash Facts report for 2018 found the number of crashes caused by alcohol fell to 7,181 – a five-year low.
However, drunk drivers caused more serious wrecks in 2018. Highway officials reported 278 deaths attributed to intoxicated motorists, compared with 248 in 2017. That was a 12.1 percent rise. The report notes drunk driving crashes left 4,475 people injured in 2018, compared to 4,430 during the previous year.
Virginia Beach and Newport News recorded the most fatal drunk driving accidents in the Tidewater area in 2018. Eleven people lost their lives in drunk driving wrecks in each of the two cities.
Distracted driving caused 24,350 crashes in Virginia in 2018, a 6.8 percent decrease over 2017.
Fewer people lost their lives across Virginia in 2018 than in 2017. The 819 deaths in the state last year represented a 2.9 percent fall on the previous year. The spike in fatal accidents in 2017 was linked to a rise in deadly motorcycle accidents. Fewer riders lost their lives last year. Motorcyclist deaths fell by 17.8 percent to 88.
Drunk Driving Accounts for a Third of Virginia Road Deaths
Drunk driving caused approximately a third of all highway deaths in Virginia in 2018. That’s a stark figure that questions years of alcohol enforcement by police and highway campaigners. We are concerned by the deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers in Virginia last year.
However, excess speed is the number one cause of fatal crashes in Virginia. Speeding claimed 339 lives in 2018 – a 6.6 percent rise on the previous year.
Drunk driving claims the lives of many innocent victims and passengers. People who take the chance of drinking and getting behind the wheel also often pay the ultimate piece. The DMV figures show 177 drunk drivers died in crashes last year.
How Many Drunk Drivers are Convicted of DUI Every Year in Virginia?
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions rose to 19,790 in 2018. That was a 5.8 percent increase over 2017. It’s a big number that highlights why you should never take a chance if you consumed alcohol. Men are more likely to drive drunk than women in the Commonwealth.
The report notes 66.5 percent of those convicted of a DUI in 2018 were male. About 64 percent of fatal drunk driving accidents in Virginia in 2018 were single-vehicle crashes.
Alcohol-related accidents usually spike over the summer. The so-called 100 deadliest days for teen drivers occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
When the temperatures soar it’s tempting for many young people to drink alcohol or take drugs at parties and then try to drive home. The statistics highlight the serious risk to yourself or other drivers. Appoint a designated driver or call Uber or Lyft. It’s not worth the risk.
A Norfolk Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer is Here to Help
If you or a family member has been hit and hurt by a drunk driver in Virginia, please contact our Virginia Beach drunk driving injury lawyers today.