Approaching 1,000

It appears certain that Virginia will end the year with more than 1,000 traffic fatalities for the first time since 1990.

The toll stood at 997 Thursday, with the always-dangerous New Year's holiday weekend still ahead. Over the past five years, an average of 11 people have died on Virginia highways during the New Year's holiday weekend.

Last year's highway death toll in Virginia was 961.

State police say a big reason for this year's increase is motorcycle fatalities. Through October, 116 motorcyclists had died on the state's highways, up from 62 at the same time last year.

Distracted driving also remains a problem, along with failing to wear seat belts.


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