Reports: Dangerous driving behaviors are on the rise in Virginia

Published: Dec. 11, 2022 at 5:36 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - New reports from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Forbes Advisor says dangerous driving behaviors are on the rise in Virginia.

Speeding, drunk driving, and red-life running are among the unsafe behaviors they’re seeing. As a result, traffic deaths have gone up in the commonwealth since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“Every 11 hours, there’s a fatal car accident in Virginia,” Forbes Advisor Spokesperson Mark LoCastro said.

“We’re talking about speeding, we’re talking about distracted driving, not wearing their seat belt, and driving impaired,” Morgan Dean with AAA said.

LoCastro says their study found fatal car accidents in Virginia passed the national average.

“Thirty-one percent of fatal car accidents are due to speeding, which accounts for 260 fatalities, which is 2% higher than the national average of 29%, and 39% of fatal car accidents are due to impaired driving,” he said.

Dean says people in their survey know unsafe driving behaviors can lead to consequences, but they still won’t change their ways.

“We’ve got to turn the corner and say, ‘Hey, you admitted it’s bad. You know that your loved ones are not going to want you to do that and disapprove of you doing it, but you still admitted to doing it. Why is that happening?’” Dean said.

He says distractions may seem small but can cost you your life.

“Looking away from the roadway for just two seconds doubles your risk of a crash,” he said. “Passengers in our car, a pet in our car, eating and drinking in the car, even though it doesn’t seem like a lot, it takes our focus away from the road.”

Dean says focus is needed.

“It’s so important for everybody before they ever even set out on the roadway, you want to say to yourself - maybe even it’s pausing for a moment, sitting in the driver’s seat - saying, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to try and make it as safe as possible for me, for everybody in my vehicle, and everybody on the roadway,” he said.

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