The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiles a multitude of statistics about injuries and illnesses, including statistics about car accidents.
Virginia Statistics About Motor Vehicle Occupant Fatalities
According to Virginia car accident statistics from the CDC, the motor vehicle occupant death rate (OMV) in Virginia is 6.8 per 100,000 population. To put this number into perspective, here are the death rates for some other states:
- The West Virginia OMV death rate is 13.1 per 100,000 population.
- The New York OMV death rate is 3.1 per 100,000 population, probably due to the large number of New Yorkers who take public transportation and do not own or drive cars.
- The North Dakota OMV death rate is 20.2 per 100,000 population.
- The California OMV death rate is 4.2 per 100,000 population.
Many factors can impact the OMV death rate in a state, like seat belt usage, weather conditions, infrastructure, and impaired drivers.
The Costs of Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths in Virginia
In addition to the human loss, motor vehicle crash deaths cost Virginians nearly $1 billion a year in economic losses. These fatalities cost $9 million in medical costs and $938 million in work loss costs, for a total of $947 million a year. To put these numbers in perspective, across the entire U.S., motor vehicle crash deaths cost a total of $44 billion in work loss and medical costs.
How Different Age Groups Compare
The costs of the medical and work loss costs per year for motor vehicle deaths in Virginia by age group will likely come as no surprise.
- $447 million (47 percent) were young adults – aged 20 to 34 years
- $341 million (36 percent) were adults – aged 35 to 64 years
- $97 million (10 percent) were teens – aged 15 to 19 years
- $37 million (4 percent) were older adults – aged 65+ years
- $25 million (3 percent) were children – aged 0 to 14 years
It is unclear why the CDC categorizes 13 and 14-year-olds as children and not teens.
CDC Statistics on Drunk Driving in Virginia
The CDC says that more than 2,600 people in Virginia died in drunk driver crashes in a ten-year period. The national average rate for crash deaths involving drunk drivers is 3.3 deaths per 100,000 population. The rate in Virginia is 2.5 deaths per 100,000 population.
Drunk driving death rates break down by gender as 5.2 deaths of males per 100,000 national and 4.1 per 100,000 in Virginia. For females, the rates are 1.5 deaths per 100,000 nationally and 0.9 deaths per 100,000 in Virginia.
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CDC Data on Seat Belt and Restraint Use in Virginia
According to Virginia car accident statistics from the CDC, nearly 7,000 people in motor vehicles died in crashes in a 10-year period. The CDC says that wearing a seat belt can cut the risk of severe injury and death from a car crash in half. In Virginia, driver and front seat passengers age 18 and older must wear seat belts, but the law is secondary, meaning that the police cannot pull someone over solely because of a seat belt violation.
The CDC suggests that seat belt laws should apply to all occupants in all seats of the vehicle and that the laws be primary, so that officers can pull over and ticket people for not wearing a seat belt. Primary laws usually result in higher rates of seat belt use.
Virginia might improve its accident fatality rate by increasing the number of people who consistently wear seat belts. The CDC says that 86 percent of drivers and front seat passengers wear seat belts, on the average, across the country. In Virginia, only 78% of drivers and front seat passengers use the restraints.
Virginia Car Accident Death Rates by Age Group
In Virginia, the death rate for occupants in motor vehicle crashes of all ages is 6.8 deaths per 100,000 population. The national average is 7.0 per 100,000 population. The age group with the lowest crash death rate in our state is people aged 0 to 20, who have a rate of 3.9 per 100,000 population. Our 21 to 34-year-olds are well below the national average of 10.8 per 100,000. Virginia’s 21 to 34-year-old crash death rate is 8.9 per 100,000.
Virginians who are age 55 and over have a rate of 9.3 deaths per 100,000, which exceeds the national average of 8.1. Our state’s rate for people between 35 and 54 years of age is 6.7 per 100,000, nearly identical to the national average rate of 6.8.
The Gender Factor
The motor vehicle occupant crash death rate is more than double for males in Virginia than for females. In our state, 9.3 males out of 100,000 population die in car accidents, as opposed to 4.3 females per 100,000 population. The national average is 9.4 males and 4.7 females per 100,000 population.
If you got injured or a close relative died in a car crash, the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can help. Call us at (571) 229-1800 for a free consultation.