Nine hundred and sixty-eight people died in crashes on Virginia roadways in 2021, a 14-year high. That total represented a 14.3% increase over 2020 and the highest number of fatalities since 2007.
So far in 2022, 245 people have been killed in crashes on Virginia roadways, a 12% increase compared to this point in 2021.
Thus, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is urging Virginians to respond with simple actions that can help reduce the number of deaths on the commonwealth’s roadways.
“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. “Slow down, buckle up, focus on the task of driving and never drive impaired. It truly is that simple.
“This is critically important as fatalities continue to increase this year,” Ford said. “Vehicles and roadways are safer than they ever have been, yet we continue to lose lives to senseless crashes.”
According to final crash statistics from DMV’s Highway Safety Office, fatalities increased across a number of categories including 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 startling 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% increase over the same time period in 2020 and the highest number of fatalities during the first nine months of any year since 2006.
Virginia’s DMV and its highway safety partners embrace data-driven strategies to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on Virginia roadways. These range from education and enforcement to grant funding, news media engagement, and advertising.
“This trend is poised to continue unless Virginians take action,” 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.”