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ArlingtonTransportationRising Va. highway deaths spurs call for action

Rising Va. highway deaths spurs call for action

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As crash fatalities reached a 14-year high on the commonwealth’s roadways last year, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is pushing for residents to “respond with action” to reverse course in 2022.

“There are immediate, simple actions Virginians can take to save lives on our roadways,” said acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford. “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 – a 14.3-percent increase over the pandemic-impacted year of 2020 and the highest number of annual fatalities since 2007’s 1,026 fatalities. According to final crash statistics from DMV’s Highway Safety Office, fatalities increased across a number of categories, including as speed-related fatalities, commercial-motor-vehicle-involved fatalities and fatalities of motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, teen drivers and mature drivers.

Virginia’s increase in overall crash fatalities mirrors a national trend. 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-percent increase over the same time period in 2020 and the highest number of fatalities during the first nine months of any year since 2006. (The full report on 2021 U.S. crash statistics will be available later this year.)


“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,” Ford said.

So far this year, 245 people have been killed in crashes on Virginia roadways, a 12-percent increase compared to this point in 2021, DMV officials said.

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