What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Virginia?

The most common types of car accidents in Virginia are speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by any of these or any other types of negligence, you may be eligible to file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit to recover medical care costs, lost wages, “pain and suffering” and inconvenience, and more.

The Leading Causes of Traffic Accidents in Virginia

The Virginia Highway Safety Office compiles statistics about some of the most common causes of car accidents in the commonwealth. While the statistics vary from year to year, the leading causes tracked by this agency include:

Speeding and Aggressive Driving

Speeding is the top cause of traffic accidents in Virginia and a top cause nationwide. In Virginia in 2018, the VA Highway Safety Office reported that 19.6% of all traffic accidents were attributed to speeding, and it likely played a contributing factor in many more. This means that a motorist breaking the speed limit or driving too fast for the current road conditions caused almost a fifth of all Virginia accidents in 2018.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving was the primary cause of 18.5% of all Virginia traffic accidents in 2018. Distracted driving is difficult to prove, so these numbers are likely underreported. The VA Highway Safety Office reported the top distractions included:

  • The driver did not have their eyes on the road
  • The driver was looking at a roadside incident
  • The driver was using a cell phone or texting

Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving is a major cause of traffic accidents and a leading cause of fatality accidents in Virginia. In 2018, the VA Highway Safety Office reports that drunk drivers were responsible for 5.4% of all traffic accidents statewide. However, 33.9% of all traffic fatalities occurred as a result of an alcohol-related accident.

Other Common Causes of Traffic Accidents

While speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving are all significant concerns for the general public and law enforcement alike, there are also numerous other common causes of traffic accidents. These include:

Following Too Closely and Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents are all too common in Virginia. Following too closely, cutting off other drivers, and distractions can all play a role. While most people consider rear-end accidents relatively minor, the resulting injuries can be serious, even at low speeds.

Failure to Yield and Side-Impact Accidents

Failure to yield includes actions such as running red lights and stop signs or turning left in front of oncoming traffic. This often leads to side-impact accidents, which can be very dangerous for the occupants of the T-boned vehicle. Most vehicles offer less protection in this type of accident.

Fatigued Driving and Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Falling asleep behind the wheel can cause an accident, but so can being fatigued. A drowsy driver’s reaction times slow dramatically. This may mean they cannot hit their brakes quickly enough to avoid a rear-end accident or take other evasive action to avoid other types of accidents.

Defective Vehicles and Vehicle Parts

In some cases, an accident occurs, and there is no motorist at fault. Instead, a defect with the car or a key component causes the accident. Problems with suspension, steering, braking, and other major systems can quickly cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. A defective tire that fails can also cause an accident.

It is possible to pursue legal action against the car manufacturer or the manufacturer of the defective part in this type of case.

Learn More About Your Rights If You Were the Victim of a Virginia Car Accident

Northern Virginia injury attorney Jim Parrish used to represent the insurance companies, but now he uses the information he learned from inside the insurance industry to help victims of the most common types of car accidents in Virginia like you. He can help you understand your rights after a Virginia car accident, protect those rights, and take action to help you recover compensation based on the facts of your case.

Let the team from the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC review your case for free. We will identify the cause and all potentially liable parties, then build a strong case on your behalf.

Talk to a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer About Your Case

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Virginia car accident, the team from the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can help. We offer complimentary consultations for accident victims, and you never pay attorney’s fees unless we recover a payout for you.

Call (571) 229-1800 today to get started. You may have a limited time to act under VA § 8.01-243.

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