Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving in Virginia
Fatal and serious accidents typically spike over the holidays and Thanksgiving is no exception. Last year, the number of fatal Thanksgiving wrecks rose year-on-year in Virginia. You can safeguard yourself and your family by taking some basic precautions.
See Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers’ tips for a safe Thanksgiving in Virginia in our infographic.
Getting on the road early, giving yourself breaks, and avoiding any alcohol if you are driving can help safeguard you, your family and other motorists. Plan your route in advance and share the driving if possible. It’s important to exercise patience and to accept the fact the roads are likely to be more congested over the holiday.
The holidays typically see a surge in serious accidents on the highways of Virginia. In recent years, the economic recovery has meant busier holidays on the highways of Virginia and elsewhere. The number of fatal Virginia Thanksgiving crashes increased last year, according to state police.
Virginia State Police recorded 10 fatalities on Virginia’s highways over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2017, an increase from 2016 when seven people died over the long weekend.
Fatal Virginia Thanksgiving crashes were reported in Richmond, and the counties of Fairfax, Appomattox, Spotsylvania, Augusta, Bedford and, Caroline. Hampton Roads avoided any fatalities over the 2017 Thanksgiving period but frequently sees deaths over the holiday.
In 2017, the wrecks claimed the lives of eight drivers, one passenger, and a pedestrian, according to Virginia State Police.
The best time to leave your home if you are traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday is early in the morning. If possible, avoid morning and evening rush hours when a combination of commuter and holiday traffic are a recipe for frustration and accidents in places like the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels.
Virginia State Police and local police step up their Thanksgiving patrols over the holiday period and are increasingly vigilant for drunk drivers.
Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent said in the wake of last year’s deaths he was alarmed at the number of fatal Thanksgiving crashes and the statistics in general. He said:
“The increase in fatal crashes throughout this year is troubling and should be of serious concern to all Virginians.”
Over the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police troopers also:
- Cited 8,016 speeding drivers;
- Cited 2,465 reckless drivers;
- Arrested 102 drivers for drunk driving;
- Cited 589 motorists for seat belt violations and 205 for child restraint violations;
- Investigated 998 traffic wrecks;
- Helped 2,635 disabled motorists.
According to Virginia Crash Facts published by the Department of Motor Vehicles, 843 people lost their lives on the highways of the Commonwealth last year. The figure was a 10.8 percent rise on 2016. A spike in the number of motorcyclist deaths in the Commonwealth accounted for much of the increase.
Every year motorists, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians are killed on the highways of Virginia through no fault of their own. The number of deaths rises over the holidays because people drink alcohol in their homes or at parties.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you have been injured or lost a family member due because of the actions of another driver in Virginia, please call our VA car accident injury team at (757) 455-0077.