Crash fatalities in Virginia have reached a 14-year high on the state’s roadways last year.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is now urging Virginians to respond with action to reverse course in 2022. The DMV says to take action by slowing down, buckling up, staying focused and never driving impaired.
“There are immediate, simple actions Virginians can take to save lives on our roadways,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “This is critically important as fatalities continue to increase this year. Vehicles and roadways are safer than they ever have been, yet we continue to lose lives to senseless crashes. Do your part to help. Slow down, buckle up, focus on the task of driving and never drive impaired. It truly is that simple.”
Last year, 968 people died in crashes on Virginia roadways. That's a 14.3% increase over 2020 and the highest number of annual fatalities since 2007 (1,026 fatalities). So far this year, 245 people have been killed in crashes in Virginia, a 12% increase compared to this point in 2021.
Fatalities increased in several categories including, speed-related fatalities, commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities, and fatalities of motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, teen drivers and mature drivers, according to DMV stats.
Fatal crashes have also increased nationally. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 31,000 people died in crashes in the first nine months of 2021, a 12% increase over the same time period in 2020 and the highest number of fatalities during the first nine months of any year since 2006.
“This trend is poised to continue unless Virginians take action,” Acting Commissioner Ford said. “Most people want to contribute to something greater; by driving safely, you can truly make a difference, not just in your life, but in the lives of everyone with whom you share the road.”