The Virginia State Police are urging drivers to stay vigilant and alert while driving. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more people to drive when going on trips, as road trips become the preferred mode of travel over planes during these tumultuous times. Drivers should remember to practice safe driving; distracted driving and impaired driving should be left in 2020 as the best way to reduce fatal accidents is by participating in safe driving behavior.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) states that fatal accidents are the leading cause of death of teenagers. In Virginia, there were 17,600 accidents in 2019 that involved teenagers. Unfortunately, teens are more likely to be in a car accident than other drivers on the road because they are more likely to engage in risky driving behavior. Teens can stay safe while driving if they are informed, and parents should actively engage their teen drivers on how they can drive safely. If teens are aware of what behaviors constitute unsafe driving they can avoid participating in those activities.
Driving Under the Influence
Drinking and driving is a behavior that should be left in 2020 as drinking and driving only increases a driver’s chances of being in a fatal accident. Alcohol can slow a driver’s reaction time and cause them to make unsafe decisions while driving. If a person has been out drinking, their best option to stay safe would be to call an Uber or Lyft or ask a friend to drive them home.
Proper Seat Belt Usage
A driver properly using a seatbelt can be the difference between a fatal accident and a non-fatal one. When a driver wears a seatbelt,this precaution reduces the likelihood of injury or death. When occupants are ejected from the vehicle their chances of fatal injuries greatly increases. Since fatal accidents are on the rise, one of the simplest ways to stay safe is remembering to buckle up, and encouraging all other occupants to buckle up as well.
Aggressive Driving and Aggressive Drivers
Aggressive driving can mean a driver is tailgating, driving erratically, speeding, or not allowing other vehicles to pass them. Aggressive driving is extremely dangerous, and motorists should not drive aggressively as it puts themselves and other motorists at elevated risk. However, motorists can only control their own behavior, which means that while they might not drive aggressively, they could still encounter aggressive drivers. If a driver sees another motorist driving irresponsibly the best thing they can do is not engage. If a driver is being aggressive toward another, the driver should not respond with aggression and remain calm. If a driver feels at risk due to the driving of another, they could call the police, but again they should not actively try to engage.
Distracted driving is the culprit behind many fatal accidents in Virginia. When people hear the phrase “distracted driving,” they often assume that it refers to texting and driving. However, distracted driving could be any behavior that takes a motorist’s eyes off of the road. A driver cannot safely drive if their mind or attention is elsewhere, and therefore, the chances of an accident increases when drivers are distracted. Distractions that seem minor such as eating or chatting with the other occupants of the vehicle can still be dangerous, so drivers need to be cautious.
Contacting an Attorney
You are only able to control your own driving behavior, which means that even if you follow all these safe driving guidelines you could still be injured in an accident. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers are here to help guide you through the process, and can offer you professional legal advice in the event that you are injured. If you or a loved one was harmed due to the negligence of another driver, call us today.