More Drivers Die in Rural Virginia Car Crashes, Studies Show
Seldom a week goes by without a terrible car accident in Hampton Roads making headlines. Yet, despite the dangers posed by congestion on urban roads, more drivers die in rural Virginia car crashes, according to a recent survey.
In 2017, about 40,000 people lost their lives in car crashes nationwide. Nearly all of the fatal crashes, 94 percent, were due to the negligence of a driver.
The good news for drivers in Virginia is the state is in the safest 20 percent in the country in terms of fatal car crashes. That’s no consolation if you have lost a loved one.
Last year, the number of deaths on the roads of the Commonwealth rose to 843, a 10.8 percent jump in deaths. A big spike in the number of motorcyclists killed fueled the increase.
A study by Stacker looked at the Federal Highway Administration’s 2016 highway statistics and ranked states in terms of deaths.
Virginia was the 42nd most dangerous place out of 52 with 9 deaths per billion miles traveled. The 2016 total fatalities figure of 760 comprised of 257 deaths on urban roads and 462 on rural roads. The study included Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
Rural Virginia Car Crashes Are More Deadly, Figures Show
While cities such as Newport News, Virginia Beach and Norfolk see many deaths and serious accidents, per head of population rural roads are often more dangerous.
Every year, large numbers of fatal wrecks take place in rural Suffolk as well as counties like the Isle of Wight, Southampton County and on the U.S. 13 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
Rural Virginia car crashes may be more dangerous because roads in the countryside are often undivided. Head-on collisions are more likely to occur on country roads. Statistically, these are among the most deadly types of wrecks.
The figures make the case for more traffic calming measures like speed bumps, stop signs, and even alarms to ensure seat belts are being worn in cars.
Often rural roads have fewer features intended to slow traffic down. In cities like Norfolk, speed limits, crosswalks and bike lanes, all tackle speed while many residential areas have speed bumps.
These kinds of features moderate driving behavior. A staggering 94 percent of car accidents are the fault of negligent driving rather than faulty cars or environmental conditions.
Stacker looked at data across all 50 U.S. states as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
Puerto Rico emerged as the most dangerous place to drive with 19.2 fatalities per billion miles traveled. The island recorded 279 deaths in 2016, 104 in cities and 175 in rural areas.
South Carolina was the most dangerous state in the country with a fatality rate of 18.6 deaths per billion miles traveled. In all the state saw 1.015 deaths in 2016, 403 in rural areas and 612 in the countryside.
The southern states were consistently more dangerous. Mississippi was the second most dangerous state and the third most dangerous place in the study. The state recorded 690 deaths in 2016, just 15 in urban areas and 675 in rural areas. The number of drivers who die in rural Virginia car crashes remains a cause of concern. If you have lost a loved one due to the fault of another driver, please call our personal injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077. Cooper Hurley has client meeting locations in rural parts of the state including on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and in Suffolk.