According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about six million vehicle accidents occur each year in America. That adds up to approximately one car crash every six seconds. Over the past decade, the rate of car accident deaths throughout the country remained steady. However, the year 2020 saw an increase of more than 7% in fatal vehicle collisions, according to NHTSA. Speeding is believed to be the main cause of the increased rate in fatal accidents.
Fortunately, Virginia did not appear in a recent top 10 list by the insurance comparison site Insurify of the states with the highest crash rates. However, that doesn’t mean that drivers should not use caution when driving.
Take these steps to help avoid serious injuries
Even the best drivers are involved in accidents, often because of other drivers’ mistakes. You have control only over your own vehicle. However, you can take some steps to minimize your injuries if hit:
- Pay attention to your surroundings and other vehicles, so you can get out of the way, if possible. This means putting down the cellphone and other distractions.
- Always use your seat belt. Serious injuries are common even at slow speeds if drivers or passengers fail to buckle up.
- Don’t assume that other drivers know what they are doing or where they are going. We’ve all seen someone driving the wrong way down a one-way.
- Follow traffic laws wherever you are driving. They are not just for other people. This means use your turn signal, don’t speed and yield to pedestrians and bikers.
- Don’t drive when you are tired or after you’ve been drinking. Even a couple beers or glasses of wine can make the difference between life and death.
- Obey the three-second rule. Stay three seconds behind the car in front of you. This should be five to eight seconds if the weather is bad.
If you do suffer injuries in a crash that was caused by a negligent or reckless driver, it’s important to hold the driver responsible. Not only can legal action help you with your financial losses, you may be helping to keep Virginia roads safe for others.